New Code of Practice for Utility Installation

10th March, 2020

In June 2019, the Scottish government introduced a new Code of Practice for utility contractors to limit the disruption to roads and paths in Scotland when installing underground cables.

Companies are now expected to cut narrower trenches (less than 300mm wide) and fill them in quicker when laying cables. This new way of working is helping speed up the delivery of ultra-fast broadband throughout Scotland, whilst limiting the disturbance to communities.

Often referred to as “micro-trenching”, this is an advanced method of cable, utility and fibre installations, allowing rapid deployment in highways, pavements and roads. This new process replaces the need for a traditional trench to be dug using an excavator which is time-consuming and labour intensive.

3 benefits of micro trenching:

  • Speed – Cut up to 100m per hour and backfill faster thanks to the narrower trenches
  • Cost Saving – A combination of lower manpower, reduced backfilling time and materials, ultimately lowers project costs when employing micro trenching vs traditional methods.
  • Reduced Disruption – Disruption to street access and traffic is significantly reduced thanks to faster installation times and with compact machines and no wide-open trenches impact on traffic flow is minimised.

The Scottish Government announced in January 2020 that they expect the completion of their £600m R100 (Reaching 100%) project – The plan to make superfast broadband networks available to every single premise in Scotland – to be completed in 2023 and this new Code of Practice has been put in place to make this possible.


At MTS Plant you can hire micro-trenching equipment from us today… Click here to see what we can offer.