Utilities and local authorities exchange a substantial volume of information about street works and must use an electronic transfer of notifications (ETON) system to do so. Any such system needs to comply with the technical specification which provides a 'common language' for the exchange of information. This helps to minimise transaction costs by ensuring that any local authority's system can receive and understand communications from any utility (and vice versa).
Changes to the EToN schema came into legal force from October this year. The new schema, EToN 6, is the web-based streetworks transaction system and will enable inspection results to be sent as a web service transaction, rather than text files via File Transfer Protocol.
Local authorities and utility companies have been given a 6 month window to move over to the new system.
Mandated by legislation, utilities and local authorities must use the NSG for notification of streetworks, this means that GeoPlace has had to implement changes to allow for the move to EToN 6. However, as all authorities and utilities will be moving to EToN 6 at differing times over a six month period, GeoPlace has ensured that the streetworks community can deal with dual noticing.
Working closely with the EToN community of software developers, GeoPlace has facilitated receipt of EToN 5 and EToN 6 streetworks files and will publish outputs in both formats through the NSG website. The solution allows local authorities and utilities who are using different EToN versions to continue to generate and consume files in either version.
This solution is vital in allowing streetwork noticing to continue throughout the transition process, allowing local authorities and utilities to continue to share information on the timing and coordination of streetworks so that disruption on the road network can be kept to a minimum.
Announcing the move to EToN 6, Norman Baker, Under Secretary of State for Transport at the time said "It is estimated that about two thousand hours could be saved by councils and utility companies every week by using the new system, saving industry alone Â£600,000 a year. In total, the street works sector is expected to net savings of Â£14.3 million over the next 10 years, driving efficiencies and saving taxpayers' money."
GeoPlace is a public sector limited liability partnership between the Local Government Association and Ordnance Survey. GeoPlace's role is to create and maintain the National Address Gazetteer and the National Street Gazetteer for England and Wales, providing definitive sources of publicly-owned spatial address and street data for Great Britain.
National Street Gazetteer
The National Street Gazetteer (NSG) contains definitive information for streets in England and Wales and primarily allows local authorities to manage all street works carried out by themselves and by statutory undertakers in an efficient manner on the road network.
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