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Boris gets green light to sink London’s Mary Celeste’ ghost works

PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 05 October 2010

BORIS Johnson is finally hoping to sink Mary Celeste’ roadworks that block streets for days and even weeks on end often with no-one working on them. The Mayor has got the green light for a London-wide roadworks permit scheme

By Mike Brooke

BORIS Johnson is finally hoping to sink 'Mary Celeste' roadworks that block streets for days and even weeks on end often with no-one working on them.

The Mayor has got the green light from Whitehall for a London-wide roadworks permit scheme from next month that he hopes will sort them out once and for all.

The Mayor wants to end the traffic mayhem caused by 300,000 roadworks in London every year and get them co-ordinated so the utility companies work together and not keep digging up the same bit of road each time they want to lay a cable or pipe.

"This is long overdue," he said. "If companies want to dig up the roads, they must co-ordinate it to cause the minimum disruption.

"Drivers have too often been victims of unnecessary roadworks reminiscent of the Mary Celeste."

The 'Mary Celeste' was a 282-ton vessel which sailed into Gibraltar on the morning of December 13, 1872, with no-one on board. Nothing was ever found of Captain Benjamin Briggs, his wife, two-year-old daughter and the crew of seven.

The permit scheme starting January 11 means City Hall can now coordinate the timing of roadworks with different utilities like gas, water and electricity so they work together.

It is also working on a daily 'lane rental' idea on top of permits where utilities would pay for every day they work on the road, rather than a one-off charge, to encourage them to speed up.


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