Boris Asks Londoners To "Tell On Roadworks"

New online system to "spot, report & prevent unruly roadworks"

A new pledge outlines the standards that Londoners should expect from roadworks sites. Part of this is a tool for residents to report on roadworks, CCTV operators and traffic community police will use reports to take immediate action

Boroughs are urged to introduce similar innovative measures and work with TfL to help reduce disruptive and unnecessary works in London. 

Announcing the measures at Transport for London's (TfL's) traffic nerve centre, the Mayor said that is was time for Londoners to "name and shame" those who blight London with disruptive or neglected roadworks, causing hours of unnecessary frustration to journeys every day. He is urging Londoners to now use a new reporting system launched today to tell TfL when roadworks are not up to scratch so they can take action with the relevant organisations and get things moving again.

The Mayor and TfL are clearly outlining to Londoners what standards they should expect to see from roadworks sites and are calling on borough highway authorities to do the same and hold those who dig up roads on their streets fully to account.

These initiatives are part of the Mayor’s longer-term strategy for improving the management of roadworks to free up London from unnecessary snarl ups. The Mayor has been working with the Government to put in place laws by next year that allow TfL to properly charge for working on their roads, incentivising companies to work more efficiently and at less disruptive times. If approved, TfL hopes to introduce this from Spring 2012.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said, "Roadworks are a massive headache for Londoners, also levying a heavy toll on our economy. I have already taken action to introduce the UK's first permit scheme which will impose fines on those companies digging up the road that fall short of the high standards this city deserves.

"But like any great battle you have to plan for the next big push. We are now putting in place better ways to empower Londoners to name and shame those who blight our city with disruptive or badly managed roadworks. These reports will followed-up with swift action by the relevant authority to help unclog roads suffering from unnecessary delays."

The new roadworks pledge:
All roadworks should:
* Be tidy and safe with a clutter-free site so it is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
* Always explain what's happening through detailed, clear and consistent signage.
* Always have activity on site or, if not, explain why (for example if concrete is drying).
* Take up as little road / pavement space as possible with a compact working area and eliminating the unnecessary use of cones, safety barriers and storage of materials.
* Help keep London moving by working outside peak hours, re-opening the road to traffic at peak times and, where this is not possible, working 24/7 or extended hours to complete works as quickly as possible.
* Diversion routes should be clearly signed.

How do Londoners report problem roadworks?
They need to go to, or tweet @report_it with the hashtag #roadworks, complaints can be sent directly to the highway authority responsible, ensuring that direct and swift action can be taken.

Richard Tracey the London Assembley Member for Wandsworth & Merton told Neighbour Net, "This is a very welcome move by Boris which I have pursued constantly . Complaints about road blocks because of lengthy roadworks make up a large part of my postbag."

TfL is also reducing the roadworks 'cap' - the maximum number of roadworks it allows on its roads at any one time - by a further ten per cent. The cap, which applies to all works on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN), was first introduced by TfL last year and reduced the maximum number of roadworks allowed to take place at any one time on its roads by 20 per cent. TfL will also continue to review the cap, with a view to making further reductions in the future.

Through the London Permit Scheme and the Mayor's Code of Conduct for Roadworks, TfL has helped to reduce the amount of disruption on London's roads caused by road works. TfL recorded a 32 per cent reduction in the level of serious and severe disruption due to roadworks occurring on the Transport for London network across London in 2010/11 compared to 2009/10, and has managed to save more than 1,300 days of disruption by better coordination of roadworks on the capital's busiest roads. So far this financial year, TfL has refused more than 7,000 permits, helping to ensure works are carried on the TLRN at times where they will cause minimal disruption.

Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, is holding weekly meetings with top TfL experts to scrutinise this and other data about problem roadworks and to identify ways to mitigate their effects. This includes unannounced site visits and contacting top council and utility company bosses to ensure that all possible measures to lessen disruption are being taken.

A huge range of activity is now underway to tackle the problem. Metropolitan Police Service Traffic-trained Police Community Support Officers are now patrolling the TLRN, clamping down on disruptive roadworks. Using hand-held devices they report directly to TfL, who can take immediate action. CCTV will also be used to monitor activity and spot bad practice.

In addition TfL has established a new standard in roadworks signage - giving Londoners clearer information about the roadworks affecting them, including what works are taking place and when activity should be taking place on site. This signage will be rolled out to all major TfL works by the end of the year and will be calling upon all highway authorities and utility companies to bring their signage up to this standard.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said
"TfL stands shoulder to shoulder with the Mayor in working to reduce the amount of roadworks on London's busiest roads and the disruption they cause. The permit scheme has been a very effective tool in getting both utilities and our own works promoters to reduce roadwork numbers and increase the level of joint working between different companies on work sites across London.

"Despite the progress made, more needs to be done. That is why TfL and the Mayor continue to press the remaining six boroughs who have not applied to implement a permit scheme for roadworks on their road network to do so as quickly as possible, but also for all London boroughs to introduce a roadworks cap, helping to encourage better coordination and shared works on all roads across the capital."

September 24, 2011