As London’s roadworks permit scheme comes into effect today, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called on the Government to allow the capital to levy a charge “for every minute” companies disrupt traffic.
The new scheme was launched following a manifesto commitment from the Mayor and is a partnership between Transport for London and 18 borough councils.
TfL has previously described the scheme as “a key measure” in reducing disruption to road users and congestion in the capital which it blames on utility firms digging 300,000 holes every year. Before it could come into operation the scheme had to be approved by Ministers.
Companies failing to obtain a permit risk a fine of up to £5,000, and any firm breaking the conditions of their permit could be fined up to £2,500.
Welcoming the start of the scheme Mayor Johnson told Londoners: “My team is battering down the Government’s doors in a bid to win permission to increase our cone busting power by running a lane rental scheme that would mean companies would pay for every minute they dig. Surely there could be no greater incentive for the utilities to ensure their works are as speedy as possible and cause the capital the least disruption possible.”
From today the scheme operates in 16 boroughs – City of London, Westminster City Council, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ca mden, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Lewisham, Redbridge and Wandsworth – and will come into effect in Croydon and Bromley on April 1st.
London Councils spokesman Councillor Mike Fisher said the scheme “puts boroughs back in the driving seat by giving them powers to co-ordinate road works so delays and inconvenience are kept to a minimum” and promised “action will be taken against utility companies which do not meet the conditions of their permit.”