Transport for London (TfL) has announced plans to make works on London’s road network safer and less disruptive, by making changes to its Lane Rental scheme and introducing a new Roadworks Charter for utility companies.
The Lane Rental scheme, introduced in 2012, means TfL can charge utility companies a daily fee for “digging up the busiest sections of London’s roads at the busiest times”. According to TfL, the scheme – which has £100 million of lost travel time since its introduction – encourages companies to plan the works they need to carry out outside of the most sensitive times.
TfL’s proposed changes to the scheme are “intended to better reflect how London’s roads are being used”, with more cycleways and some of London’s busiest footways being subject to charges.
Of particular interest to fleet decision makers operating vehicles in London is the news that TfL has also worked with the largest utility companies in London on a new Roadworks Charter.
The Charter sets out targets for both TfL and other companies carrying out works on London’s road network to make roadworks safer and less disruptive by 2021.
A key element of the strategy centres around companies sharing plans for works with each other in advance to see if they can be done in parallel, targets for improving safety performance and committing to reduce obstacles around works for vulnerable road users. Five companies, Thames Water, UK Power Networks, SGN, Cadent Gas and BT, have signed up to the charter.
Glynn Barton, TfL’s director of network management, said: “Roadworks are a vital and unavoidable part of keeping the capital’s complex utilities in working order, but we’re fully aware that they can be a pain for people using the roads, as well as a cause of danger, congestion and toxic air. We’re working very closely with the industry on schemes such as Lane Rental and our Roadworks Charter to reduce the impact of roadworks and to keep people moving safely around the capital.”
In September, TfL announced the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on 8.9km of road in central London, with work to begin later this year.
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