Road congestion is a major issue for London’s transport system, causing significant frustration for road users and affecting Londoners’ quality of Life. With around half a million holes dug in London’s roads every year, it is not surprising that roadworks account for about a third of the Capital’s most serious traffic disruption.
It is estimated that disruption from roadworks costs the Capital’s economy around £750 million a year. Around £300 million of this is on London’s busiest roads - the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) or Red Routes – which, although only comprising around 5% of London’s road network, carry over 30% of the traffic.
The Mayor of London and TfL have progressed a number of measures on the TLRN to reduce roadworks disruption, including the introduction of a voluntary Code of Conduct for Roadworks, the implementation of the London Roadworks Permitting Scheme to better control and coordinate activity, and the introduction of a cap on the number of works allowed on the TLRN at any one time. However, as the Mayor has consistently made clear, still more needs to be done.
The vast majority of roadworks disruption on the TLRN is in fact concentrated on around half of its length. It is in these areas – identified as Congestion Management Areas (CMAs) - that TfL is keen to target additional measures and stronger incentives to deliver a real change in the industry so that works are planned and undertaken more efficiently. This includes minimising the amount of time that works disrupt traffic, either by ensuring works are carried out as speedily as possible, or by ensuring that more works are carried out outside of peak traffic hours and that roads are fully open at the busiest times. The introduction of a targeted ‘lane rental’ scheme will allow TfL to charge companies a daily fee for digging up London’s busiest roads at the busiest times and will help incentivise more efficient working practices.
In the areas where lane rental charges apply, the proposed scheme will provide adequate time for works to be carried out without charge, therefore minimising the opportunity for costs to be passed onto the consumer.
It is intended that any revenue raised through the scheme,after implementation and running costs are deducted, will be reinvested in measures that help to reduce traffic disruption on the road network. This will be jointly overseen by TfL and the major utility companies and will be used to develop and invest in new technology, such as quick curing materials and improved plating and bridging technology. This will enable TfL and the utilities to carry out more works outside of disruptive times and to complete them more quickly. Any new and innovative technology funded, developed and tested as a result of the scheme, could then also be applied on other parts of the road network.
Why We Are Consulting
This consultation is now closed.
Between August and November 2011, we invited comments on our plans to introduce a targeted and avoidable lane rental scheme on the Capital’s busiest roads to reduce disruptive and unnecessarily prolonged roadworks in London.
Details of our proposed scheme can be found here.
Please click here to view the cost benefit analysis for the scheme.
Please click here to view a list of proposed locations where charging would apply (appendix to scheme document).
Maps for each borough can be found at the bottom of this page under 'Related documents'.
The Mayor and TfL will look to formally submit proposals to the Department for Transport (DfT) in early 2012 and plan to have the country’s first targeted and avoidable lane rental scheme up and running during the first half of 2012.
The introduction of a lane rental scheme on London’s busiest roads is dependent on the Department for Transport replacing existing lane rental regulations under Section 74 A of the New Roads and Street Works Act and publishing supporting guidance in order to allow highway authorities to design and implement targeted lane rental schemes. The Department for Transport is currently consulting on proposals for nationwide lane rental regulations and guidance and this should be responded to separately and directed to the DfT www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2011-25
What Happens Next
This consultation is now closed.
Thank you to all who responded with comments. Below you will find the Consultation Report outlining the feedback received.