A TfL scheme that has reduced the number of roadworks on main roads is to be extended to pavements as well.
Introduced in 2012, TfL’s Lane Rental scheme requires utility firms to pay to dig up the roads managed by TfL. Apart from an income for TfL, the main result, as hoped for, is that utility firms now work with each other to coordinate roadworks.
If two utilities are likely to need to carry out maintenance in the same area, they’re encouraged to do the work together so that the Lane Rental cost can be split between them. Lane rental prices range from £800 to £2,500 per day. If they can do the work at night, then the cost is lower.
Since Lane Rental was introduced in 2012, there has been a 65% increase in companies working at the same site, at the same time, and a 30% rise in planned utility works at night.
At the moment, the Lane Rental scheme covers 56% of the TfL managed road network, but this is being expanded to 69% from May.
In addition, from May, TfL will be introducing a charge of £350 per day for works that impact on the busiest areas of pavement in the capital, to encourage utilities to minimise disruption to pedestrians.
Dealing with the plague of retailers putting out A-boards remains the responsibility of local councils, as does the proliferation of signs on poles that manage to eat into the useable width of so many pavements.
All the money raised from the scheme is ringfenced for initiatives designed to reduce the congestion and disruption caused by roadworks across the capital.
More than £20m in Lane Rental funding has been allocated to date to 75 schemes, that aim to improve how roadworks are carried out. These include mapping below-ground utility services, robotic technology, training to promote efficiency in on-site working practices and establishing a pilot Infrastructure Coordination Service at City Hall.