One of the biggest issues is that currently there is no comprehensive underground map of the UK’s service network. Organisations have their own maps showing where gas pipes and electricity cables are, but the lack of a combined map creates an increased risk of potentially lethal accidents. Once the project is in place, workers will be able to see all teh right details on mobile phones or laptop computers before they start a dig.
“Working alongside local authorities, other utility services and partners has meant that we are off to a good start in mapping Sunderland’s underground. We are looking forward to working with government and others to showcase the powers of data sharing for public good,” said Heidi Mottram, CEO of Northumbrian Water.
It is estimated that the cost of disruption from accidental strikes on underground pipes and cables is £1.2bn a year to the UK’s economy.