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Digging Up Britain

LinesearchbeforeUdig (LSBUD) Digging Up Britain Report

The uk geared up for ‘Digging Boom’

Digging Up Britain 2021, our fourth safe digging industry report, charts all the groundwork taking place across the UK last year.

2020 was a unique year given the challenges and uncertainty that came with the pandemic. While much excavation work continued, many firms shifted into preparation mode. As a result almost 1 million projects have been added to the pipeline. These, together with the large scale infrastructure projects planned to kickstart the economy, mean the UK is heading for an absolute ‘Digging Boom’.

The report gives a sense of the boom to come, examining the sheer volume of projects undertaken during 2020, the impact of COVID-19, who was digging where, and why – and the future plans put in place. It also gauges the risks digging still poses to our vital underground infrastructure and what needs to be done to ensure our networks and our workers remain safe.


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“Particularly during the challenges that we have all faced over the last 18 months, it is critical that we can ensure our customers and contractors are able to access our records remotely with an immediate response. This enables them to work safely and also protects our assets.  These customers are diverse and wide ranging across a wide section of industry from infrastructure building to domestic works.  Through the use of the LSBUD system we look forward to helping them work safely during the continual increase in works across our operational area over the coming years”

Steve Fraser


Chief Executive

Cadent Gas Ltd


“The 2021 LSBUD Digging Up Britain Report is a must-read and powerful insight for all utilities and contractors engaged in any kind of excavation work for street and road works. It is good to see that LSBUD goes from strength-to-strength in its coverage of almost 100 asset owners. The report complements well Streetworks UK’s own survey work in 2020 around excavation working practice, and further reinforces the need to share information on LSBUD’s world class platform.

Mind you, we should be concerned that 500 000km of underground assets remain unregistered, particularly when the infrastructure boom – so neatly described in this Report – is now breaking over us. The Geospatial Commission leadership would do well to read this report closely, and ensure its forthcoming work is additive to existing systems.”

Clive Bairsto

Chief Executive




“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Wales and south west England. From heating homes and powering businesses, to keeping the lights on, 7.5m people rely on our network – now more than ever.   We’re committed to protecting the gas network to keep the gas flowing safely. So we’re pleased to be working with LSBUD to enhance the support we can provide groundworkers and civils contractors, helping them and others easily access our plans at the same time as they search for other services in the area.

Graham Edwards

Chief Executive

Wales & West Utilities