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Water Act 1945

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part VIBreaking Open Streets, &c

Power to break open streets

22Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Schedule, the undertakers may within their limits of supply for the purpose of laying, constructing, inspecting, repairing, renewing or removing mains, service pipes, plant or other works, and outside those limits for the purpose of laying any mains which they are authorised to lay and of inspecting, repairing, renewing or removing mains, break open the roadway and footpaths of any street, and of any bridge carrying a street, and any sewer, drain or tunnel in or under any such roadway or footpath, and may remove and use the soil or other materials in or under any such roadway or footpath:

Provided that they shall in the exercise of the powers conferred by this section cause as little inconvenience and do as little damage as may be, and for any damage done shall pay compensation to be determined, in case of dispute, by arbitration.

Notice to be given before breaking open streets, and c

23Not less than fourteen clear days before they commence to break open the roadway or footpath of any street or bridge, or any sewer, drain or tunnel, the undertakers shall give notice of their intentions, and of the time when they propose to commence the work, to the persons having the control or management of the street, bridge, sewer, drain or tunnel in question, or to some officer of those persons authorised by them to receive such notices:

Provided that—

(a)in cases of emergency arising from defects in any pipes, plant or works, it shall be sufficient if the notice required by this section is given as soon as possible after the necessity for the work becomes known to the undertakers;

(b)where the roadway or footpath is broken open for the purposes mentioned in the last but one foregoing section of this Schedule, the notice shall be seventy-two hours instead of fourteen days.

Streets, and c, not to be broken open except under supervision of persons responsible therefor

24(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, the undertakers shall not, save in such cases of emergency as aforesaid, break open the roadway or footpath of any street or bridge, or any sewer, drain or tunnel, except under the supervision of, and in accordance with plans approved by, the persons having the control or management thereof, or their authorised officer:

Provided that, if any difference arises in connection with the plans submitted for approval, that difference shall be referred to an arbitrator to be appointed, in default of agreement, by the Minister, or, if he thinks fit, by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and, in cases where a sewer or drain is affected, the arbitrator may direct the undertakers to execute such work as he may deem necessary for preventing any temporary interruption of drainage through that sewer or drain, and the undertakers shall comply with any direction so given.

(2)Notwithstanding anything in the last foregoing subsection, if the persons having the control or management of a street, bridge, sewer drain or tunnel, or their authorised officer, after having received such notice of the undertakers' intentions as is mentioned in the last foregoing section, fail to question the sufficiency or propriety of any plans submitted to them, or fail to submit any alternative plans to the undertakers, or fail to attend and exercise supervision over the work, the undertakers may proceed to carry out the work.

Protection for railway companies, navigation authorities, tramway undertakers, etc.

25(1)Except in cases of emergency arising from defects in pipes, plant or works, the roadway or footpath of a street or bridge which is under the control or management of, or maintainable by, a railway company or navigation authority shall not be broken open without their consent, but that consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, and any question whether or not consent is unreasonably withheld shall be referred to and determined by the Minister.

(2)Where the undertakers propose to break open the roadway or footpath of any length of street which forms a level crossing, or crosses over or under a railway or other works of a railway company or navigation authority, and which is not under the control or management of the railway company or navigation authority, they shall give to the railway company or navigation authority the like notice as they are required by the last but one foregoing section to give to the persons having the control or management of the street and, if and in so far as the proposed work is likely to affect the structure of any bridge or other works belonging to the railway company or navigation authority, shall carry out the work to the reasonable satisfaction of the engineer or other authorised officer of the railway company or navigation authority in accordance with plans approved by him. Any dispute arising under this subsection between the persons proposing to execute work and a railway company or navigation authority, shall be referred to an arbitrator to be appointed, in default of agreement, by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

(3)The last foregoing subsection shall, with any necessary adaptation, apply in relation to a level crossing which belongs to persons not being a railway company or navigation authority, as it applies in relation to a level crossing belonging to such a company or authority.

(4)For the protection of persons entitled to the benefit of section thirty-two of the Tramways Act, 1870 (which relates to the rights of; authorities and companies, &c, to open roads), that section shall be construed as applying to operations authorised by the special Act, and in the said section as so applied any reference to a tramway shall be construed as including a reference to a trolley vehicle system.

(5)Nothing contained in this section for the protection of owners of level crossings shall affect the decision of any question which may arise as to the legality of the construction of, or the right to continue, any level crossing.

Streets, and c, broken open to be reinstated without delay

26(1)When, for the purpose of executing any work, the undertakers break open the roadway or footpath of any street or bridge, or any sewer, drain, or tunnel, they shall with all convenient speed and to the reasonable satisfaction of the persons having the control or management thereof complete the work and fill in and consolidate the ground, and reinstate and make good the roadway or footpath, or the sewer, drain, or tunnel, as the case may be, and remove all rubbish resulting from their operations, and shall, after replacing and making good the roadway or footpath, keep it in good repair for three months, and for such further time, if any, not being more than twelve months in the whole, as the soil may continue to subside.

(2)So long as any such roadway or footpath remains broken open or obstructed, the undertakers shall make adequate arrangements for the control of traffic and shall cause the roadway or footpath to be properly fenced and guarded at all times and to be efficiently lighted between the hours of sunset and of sunrise.

Remedies where undertakers fail to comply with foregoing requirements

27(1)If the undertakers fail to comply with, or contravene, any of the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Schedule, they shall, without prejudice to their civil liability, if any, to a person aggrieved, be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds, and to a further fine not exceeding five pounds for each day on which the offence continues after notice thereof has been given to them by, or by an officer or agent of, the persons aggrieved.

(2)If the undertakers fail to comply with any of the requirements of the last foregoing section, the persons having the control or management of the street, bridge, sewer, drain or tunnel in question, may, in addition to, or in lieu of, taking proceedings under the last foregoing subsection, themselves execute any work necessary to remedy the default and may recover the expenses reasonably incurred by them in so doing from the undertakers summarily as a civil debt.

Application of Part VI to verges and streets and highways not maintainable at the public expense

28(1)The provisions of this Part of this Schedule shall apply in relation to any land within the limits of a street, but not included in a roadway or footpath thereof, as if that land were, or formed part of, a footpath of the street.

(2)In this Part of this Schedule the expression " persons having the control or management " shall, in relation to a street not maintainable at the public expense, be deemed to include the authority by whom the street would be maintainable if it became a highway maintainable at the public expense and, accordingly, any notice required by section twenty-three of this Schedule and a copy of the plans referred to in section twenty-four thereof shall be served on that authority, but the authority shall not take any action under subsection (2) of the last foregoing section except at the request and on behalf of the other persons having the control or management of the street, bridge, sewer, drain or tunnel in question.

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