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Boris brings in license scheme to dig up London’s roads

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:27 05 October 2010

A NEW scheme to reduce roadworks and keep traffic on the move began this week across London. The utility companies for gas, water and cables now have to get permits from Transport for London before digging up roads. The scheme given includes the City and West End

By Mike Brooke

A NEW scheme to reduce roadworks and keep traffic on the move began this week across London.

The utility companies for gas, water and cables now have to get permits from Transport for London before digging up roads.

The scheme given the green light’ by the Government includes the City and West End and City fringe’ areas such as Shoreditch.

But it doesn’t yet include the congested East End beyond Aldgate. Only 16 of the 33 London local authorities are included, with another two joining in April, but not Tower Hamlets.

The permit idea has been brought in by London Mayor Boris Johnson to co-ordinate work to avoid digging up the same bit of road more than once. Utility companies dig up 300,000 holes in London each year.

City Hall is also thinking of bringing in a lane rental’ system later, which would limit the biggest roadworks that run on for weeks or months at a time.

This would impose overstay’ charges which local authorities say would help limit street chaos.

Traders were badly hit, for example, along the East End’s curry mile’ with the closure of Brick Lane for months on end in 2008 while water-mains were being replaced, and again by electricity mains repairs last summer along the same stretch.


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