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New code of conduct for utility works set to tackle road congestion in London

Utility companies will have to sign up to a code of conduct to cut the delays and congestion caused by roadworks in London, under new plans from Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced today.

The firms will have to provide information boards where they dig up the roads and work outside peak hours where possible.

Thames Water, who is carrying out a massive programme of work to replace the capital’s water mains, has also told the mayor that it will begin covering trenches that are not being worked on with high strength plates. This should help ease congestion by allowing the use of whole stretches of road that would previously have been coned off. If successful, other utility firms will be required to do the same.

Londoners will be able to report works that have no signage, are untidy or unattended for a number of days to Transport for London, which will then ask the utility companies to provide an explanation.

Johnson said: “By making these pledges the utility companies have agreed that the simply incredible situation of their being allowed to dig up any road in the capital with little notice and even less coordination must now end. The aim of the code of conduct is better coordination and far less disruption for Londoners.”

Around 300,000 holes are dug in London’s roads by utilities companies every year with inadequate regulation.

Transport for London director of road network performance Nick Morris said: ”This new way of working with London’s utility companies will improve the way road works are undertaken in London, with better coordination and more accountability helping to minimise the disruption works have on London’s road users.”

Thames Water chief executive David Owens said: “Although roadworks are unavoidable as we carry out vital work to update London’s network of worn-out Victorian water mains, I share the Mayor of London’s vision to keep the capital moving. That’s why, as we sign up to his new Code of Conduct, we are making road plating mandatory at our Victorian mains replacement sites across London.”

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