Have your say on changes to the TfL Lane Rental Scheme

Closed 8 Nov 2019

Opened 7 Oct 2019

Overview

London’s roads are vital in supporting our city and allowing it to function. They connect our communities, opening up opportunities and creating the conditions for London’s global economy to flourish.  But they are also some of the most congested streets in the world.  The Mayor of London's Transport Strategy sets out a range of initiatives for managing and reducing congestion in London, including a Healthy Streets Approach to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, to make London greener, healthier and more pleasant.    

Roadworks are inevitable in a growing and prospering city like London. Utilities and highways infrastructure needs maintaining and modernising; new housing and commercial developments need connections to services; and the Mayor is investing record levels to transform London’s streets to make them easier and safer to walk and cycle. The resulting road works inevitably cause congestion, delays to bus passengers and inconvenience to people walking and cycling.  Transport for London’s Lane Rental scheme is one of the tools that TfL is using to manage the impact of road works.   

The TfL Lane Rental scheme allows us to charge utility companies and other works promoters, including us and our contractors a daily fee for digging up the busiest sections of London’s roads, at the busiest times. The scheme applies to the most sensitive parts of TfL’s road network; 580km of red routes, and its purpose is to incentivise companies to minimise the impacts of any works they need to carry out by encouraging companies to plan to undertake their works outside of the most sensitive times, or to complete them without delay.   

Reviewing and improving the TfL Lane Rental scheme  

We monitor the effectiveness of the scheme and publish reports each year on our website. Compared to network conditions in 2010/11, serious and severe disruption on the areas of the TfL road network where lane rental charges apply has fallen by 41% (150 hours) in the last full reporting year, and collaborative working between multiple work promoters has increased by 61%.  

The scheme was last reviewed in July 2014, when we updated the network to reflect changing conditions. Since 2014, a number of new cycle routes have been constructed, and there are routes and locations where walking, cycling and public transport are more popular than ever. Traffic patterns are changing and the need to manage congestion in order to support freight and servicing is important.  

We also want build upon the benefits of the current scheme by driving further improvements to help contribute towards the Mayor’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries from our streets by 2041. Vulnerable road users, those that walk or cycle, can be exposed to increased risk when encountering unfamiliar conditions caused by road works.  To ensure that road works on TfL’s network comply fully with safety standards, we are committing to reducing lane rental charges by 25% for work promoters that achieve a 100% pass rate where safety inspections are carried out.  

About the current TfL Lane Rental scheme  

We introduced the TfL Lane Rental Scheme in 2012, following approval from  the Department for Transport.  We made some minor changes to the scheme in July 2014  and it has remained largely unchanged since then.  

Lane rental charges currently apply at locations making up 56% of the Transport for London Road Network.  Charges apply daily, and are in two bands, depending on the sensitivity of the location to congestion.  The lower band is charged at £800 per day, and the higher band is charged at £2,500 per day.   

At the widest extent charges can apply from 06:30 to 22:00 in some locations, with reduced charging hours in other locations.  This encourages companies to undertake their works at quieter times.  

We use the proceeds from lane rental charges to fund a range of projects in London which aim to reduce the adverse effects caused by roadworks, including trials and research into new technology and innovative working practices.   

Why change the TfL Lane Rental scheme?  

London is a dynamic, vibrant city and an economic powerhouse for the rest of the UK.  We need to ensure that the lane rental scheme remains effective at minimising the impact of road works on everyone who needs to use them. The scheme requires updating to reflect the changing use of roads in London and the increased use of sustainable modes of transport, whilst ensuring that the city can continue to grow and develop, and that London’s core infrastructure is developed and maintained.    

Proposed changes to the TfL Lane Rental scheme  

Over the last few months we have reviewed the lane rental scheme in the context of the challenges described above. We have come to these proposals by undertaking a range of analytics and have discussed them with the utilities industry and others. Our objective is to retain the same level of incentive to minimise the impact of works, whilst avoiding adding further financial burden to those companies who are integral to London’s growth. As a result of this data-led approach and our discussions with industry we would like to propose several changes to the scheme.  We have grouped these into two broad categories, as follows:  

1. The extent of the TfL Lane Rental scheme
 
We propose the following changes:  

  • Increasing the extent of the Lane Rental network so that charges would apply across 72% of the Transport for London Road Network, to better reflect the increasing demands on road space from all road users
  • Introducing a charge of £350 per day for works that impact on the pavement, to minimise disruption to pedestrians.  We propose introducing lane rental charges at the 20 busiest areas for pedestrian footfall; this makes up 2% of the proposed Lane Rental network, and are mostly outside major transport hubs
  • Reducing the number of locations where high band charges occur by 10% (although the high band charge itself would remain unchanged), to balance the increase we propose to the extent of the Lane Rental network
  • Reducing the number of hours when charges would apply.  We propose that charges would apply only from 06:30 – 20:30 across the network at the very widest extent, rather than from 06:30 – 22:00 as at present, with shorter charging periods applying in many other areas to reflect road network conditions.  We believe that this could act as a further incentive to utilities and others by allowing them increased opportunities to avoid incurring a charge and allow them more time to undertake noisy works before environmental noise curfews begin   

2. Lane Rental charging structure
 
We propose the following changes:  

  • Increase the low band charge to £1,000 per day (it is currently set at £800 per day)
  • Introducing a new middle band charge, which would be set at £1,500 per day
  • Providing discounts for companies who undertake major infrastructure improvement works to develop and improve their infrastructure
  • Providing discounts to companies who have a statutory right to work on the public highway, and undertake a sufficient number of works to allow their performance to be meaningfully assessed. Those companies that consistently deliver their works in a safe, responsible and considerate way will be entitled to such discounts, for example work promoters with an excellent safety record  

We have produced a scheme document which details our proposals for a new Lane Rental scheme, and have created an interactive map that shows the locations we propose will form the new lane rental network, the different charging rates and the times that would apply at each. A cost benefit supporting document is also available to explain how the data-led proposals were established, and how they are justified.  

We believe that the changes we proposed would ensure that the TfL Lane Rental scheme would be more effective in reducing unnecessary and disruptive roadworks, and better reflects the needs of a city where more people are walking, cycling and using public transport for their journeys. It would provide companies with greater incentives for working outside of the busiest times at the most sensitive locations, and it would also help to ensure that investment in utility infrastructure and other economically important works is maintained.  We would like to know your thoughts.

Have your say

To have your say, you can:  

  • Complete our online questionnaire (see link below)
  • Send an email to consultations@tfl.gov.uk
  • Send a letter to FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS (please mark your envelope Lane Rental Consultation)   

The closing date for comments is Friday 8 November 2019.

Next steps

Once the consultation has closed we will review all of the issues raised so that we can make a final decision on what form the new TfL Lane Rental scheme should take.  We will need to submit an application to the Department for Transport to vary the existing scheme and, depending on the outcomes of this consultation; we intend to do so in late 2019. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Street Management