NEW rules are to be introduced in Dorset that will make it illegal to carry out roadworks without first applying for a permit.

Dorset Council's highways department is implementing the permit scheme after the government announced local authorities must have a system in place by April 2020.

At the moment, work promoters have a statutory right to work on the highway and tell the council when they will be working on the road.

Under a permit scheme, they will be asking for permission to work on the highway and will need to provide clear start, end and duration details – any alteration to these during the work could incur a fee.

Permit schemes were introduced by the government to reduce disruption on the road network and delays to motorists.

Working on the highway without a permit will become a criminal offence once the scheme is implemented in the Dorset Council area.

Dorset Council says it will also lead to better co-ordination and management of works on its road network.

Activities likely to require a permit include:

- Breaking up or resurfacing any street

- Opening the road, footway, verge or cycleway

- The need for any form of temporary traffic regulation order or notice, or the suspension of pedestrian crossing facilities

- Reducing the width of the existing carriageway

Exact details will be known later this year.