Scottish Government Consults on Micro Trenching

19th November, 2018


The Scottish Government has recently announced a proposal to evaluate “Micro Trenching” as the way forward and best practice for easy and efficient utility installation. The Government is now keen on creating an efficient system that would facilitate the increased use of Micro Trenching across Scotland’s 33 road authorities in a consistent manner.

In pursuit of this goal, the Government has now sought a consultation on a proposed revision of a code belonging to Section 130 of the New Road & Street Works Act 1991. The Government feels that this code revision is essential given the need for an increase in the use of Micro Trenching methodology.

The existing code permits Micro Trenching on footways and carriageways. The Code allows trenches measuring 300mm or less in surface width and more than 2 square metres in surface area.

Despite the permission, the use of Micro Trenching is currently highly limited. With an increase in deployment of fibre cable networks to cater to rising broadband needs, the Government is looking at Micro Trenching as an effective solution for speedier, less disruptive and cost-effective service delivery throughout Scotland.

The revised code aims to increase the use of Micro Trenching by making regulations on the subject clearer. The consultation is scheduled to close on December 7.

How Micro Trenching Differs from Traditional Excavation Methods

Traditional methods of utility deployment such as Open Trench Excavation have been known to have a major impact on traffic and residents. This is considerably reduced with Micro Trenching.

In fact, the Micro Trenching technique can get the job done up to 30 times faster than Open Trench Excavation. Moreover, the technique requires only 20% of the cost demanded by trenching through traditional methods. (Source: Thorne & Derrick)

In Micro Trenching, a narrow trench usually 9”-12” in deep is created. The fibre and conduit are then inserted into the trench without disturbing or damaging the surrounding infrastructure. Micro Trenching can be carried out on heritage streets and tourist spots without any fear of damage and disruption.

The trench is then backfilled with a material containing cold asphalt. When reinstated thoroughly, the trench is barely noticeable and results in zero damage to roads.

Micro-trenched networks are easy to maintain and highly flexible. The method allows for easy movement of even live networks. Networks can also be safely retained in their existing position while new trenches are made below them.

Tracing micro-trenched networks is fast and easy as a tracer wire is inserted into the slot-cut or the channel.

It is no surprise that Micro Trenching is becoming a sought-after deployment method in most parts of the UK. Scotland is the latest country to believe in the viability of Micro Trenching as an efficient deployment method.

The futuristic possibilities of Micro Trenching are all set to increase the demand for Bobcat wheel saws, an ideal machine for the process. With the Bobcat wheel saw, you can create trenches in asphalt, concrete, reinforced concrete and even rock, to precise measurements.


Bobcat Rock Saw Rental

MTS Plant are the UK’s largest hire provider for Bobcat Attachments. We offer the Bobcat wheel saw for hire throughout Scotland, England and Wales. With our Bobcat loader and Bobcat rock wheel hire services, you can save up to 70% of the costs incurred vs conducting work via traditional methods.

Contact the MTS Plant team today to learn how the Bobcat Wheel Saw can deliver micro trenching services for you, or for a quote for your next project.

T: 08000 156 555