Johnson welcomes roadworks revamp

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has welcomed the introduction of a new permit scheme designed to minimise disruption caused by the 300,000 holes dug in the capital's streets by utilities companies every year.

Currently, utility firms across London are working under a voluntary code of conduct launched by Mr Johnson in April 2009. In the new plans, companies will be required to apply for a permit in order to carry out roadworks.

The new scheme, scheduled for January 11, aims to shore up the procedure for allowing disruptive roadworks to go ahead, as well as creating more opportunities for multiple projects to take place on the same roads simultaneously.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "This is long overdue. Drivers in London have too often been the victims of unnecessary roadworks, forced to sit stationary in traffic-clogged frustration caused by work sites reminiscent of the Mary Celeste.

"If companies want to dig up the roads, they must do so in a co-ordinated manner that causes the minimum disruption to Londoners - and this permitting scheme is a crucial step towards achieving a sensible solution."

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