Roadwork Permits Put Councils Back In The Driving Seat

Utility companies must apply to TfL before being allowed to dig up roads


Turnham Green Traffic & Transport Scheme Underway

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Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that the UK’s first roadworks permit scheme will be introduced on London’s busiest roads from 11 January 2010.

Under the scheme, utility companies and other organisations that want to dig up roads will need to apply for a permit before they can begin.

The permit applications will enable TfL to plan and coordinate the timing of roadworks, providing greater opportunities for multiple companies to work on the same sections of road simultaneously.

It is one of TfL's key measures for reducing the disruption to road users cause by the 300,000 holes dug in London's roads by utilities companies every year.

Welcoming the announcement, Boris Johnson said, "This is long overdue. Drivers in London have too often been the victims of unnecessary roadworks, forced to sit stationary in traffic-clogged frustration caused by work sites reminiscent of the Mary Celeste. If companies want to dig up the roads, they must do so in a co-ordinated manner that causes the minimum disruption to Londoners - and this permitting scheme is a crucial step towards achieving a sensible solution."

Chairman of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, Councillor Mike Fisher added, "It can be extremely frustrating for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians as well as residents and businesses to find the same road has been dug up again for yet another utility company to carry out work.

"The permit 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. Action will be taken against utility companies which do not meet the conditions of their permit."

December 9, 2009