Eighty-five per cent of the public agree that making sure that electricity and water supplies are maintained is more important than reducing congestion on the roads, according to a ComRes survey conducted on behalf of the National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG).
Furthermore, 94 per cent of people say that they are willing to accept the inconvenience of those works undertaken in order to maintain utility supplies.
The survey canvassed 1000 UK adults in January to gather the public’s opinion on utilities and street works. While the results show that on average people have been disrupted 32 times in the past 12 months, those polled still agree that ensuring the security of electricity and water supplies is a higher priority than attempting to reduce congestion.
Forty-five per cent of those interviewed rate utility companies as ‘poor’ in explaining the steps they are taking to maintain their networks. Les Guest, CEO elect of the National Joint Utilities Group, said: “Utilities companies have a challenge to take up when it comes to improving their communication with the public about street works”.
He added, “This is something NJUG has already recognised and started reviewing, the need for which is reinforced by the survey’s findings that 89 per cent of people support warning motorists about upcoming works, rather than trying to prevent them from taking place.”
Speaking at the Utility Street Works Seminar on the 24th February about the survey, Mr Guest said, “The results show that people do recognise the need for street works and are prepared to accept the disruption as long as they are told about it in advance. The findings indicate real public recognition of the essential service street works provide and their necessity for the smooth running of modern life.“