TRANSPORT FOR London (TfL) has angered local authorities and utilities in the capital by dragging its feet over an agreed scheme to co-ordinate street works.
Under the Making Streetworks Work scheme, local authorities and utilities in central London have agreed to pair up key roads on parallel routes and avoid carrying out 'non essential' street works on both at the same time.
The scheme is to cover 120 London streets and was created by Central London Partnerships (CLP) which comprises eight central London boroughs, private sector firms, the Metropolitan Police and other organisations.
It claims to have had the agreement of all parties to go live since June 2000 when the newly formed TfL took the scheme over.
CLP is angry that two years on, TfL has still not launched the scheme. It claims all parties had agreed on a timetable to go live.
'When we got the scheme as far as we could in June 2000, TfL said 'We will take this scheme on', ' said a Central London Partnerships spokesman.
'Since then absolutely nothing has happened. We just keep being told it's gone down the pecking order because of congestion charging.
'Nothing seems to be happening. We certainly appreciate TfL has had masses on its plate. But there was going to be a pilot scheme in two boroughs and we never even got as far as that'.
The project, based on a scheme successfully piloted in the City of London by the Corporation of London, covers streets in Islington, Camden, Lambeth, Southwark, Westminster and Tower Hamlets and includes utilities such as British Gas, British Telecom and Cable & Wireless. It was also expected to cover key routes on the 550km network of streets that TfL is responsible for.
'We are very disappointed that TfL hasn't assigned its road network to the project, ' said CLP chief executive Patricia Brown.
She added that CLP had been told that TfL could not yet add its own street network to the scheme because of the many street works that needed to be carried out for the congestion charging project it plans to get up and running by February 2003.
But Brown said that CLP would push TfL to launch the scheme sooner.
'We have let TfL know that we are unhappy and that we want to work with them to accelerate the whole process, ' she said.
A TfL spokesman said that it was willing to work with CLP to accelerate the programme.
'We want to be involved in this project but we haven't been as high profile as we wanted to be, ' a spokesman said. 'We are supportive of the scheme and we do feel it is important to encourage better co-ordination of street works'.
INFOPLUS www. tfl. gov. uk www. c-london.co.uk