A series of changes to London’s pioneering Lane Rental scheme are set to come into force from May after Transport for London’s plans to improve the scheme were approved by the Department for Transport. These include an expansion of the area it covers and incentives for the highest safety standards.
The changes will play an important role in enabling more people to walk and cycle, by making roadworks more efficient and reducing the disruption faced when pavements and cycle routes are blocked by roads being dug up. Ensuring that roadworks are carried out as efficiently as possible will also help to protect bus service reliability across the capital, which is currently at record levels. The changes will support TfL as it works to deliver the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on the transport network, by incentivising companies to commit to and demonstrate the very highest safety standards when carrying out roadworks.
The Lane Rental scheme allows TfL to charge utility companies and infrastructure providers a daily fee for digging up the busiest sections of London’s roads at the busiest times. This encourages companies to plan their works outside of the most sensitive times. All money raised from the scheme is then reinvested in initiatives and innovations designed to reduce the congestion and disruption caused by roadworks across the capital. Ensuring that vital utilities roadworks can continue to take place with minimal disruption for other road users will be more important than ever as London’s economy starts to reopen following the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.
Glynn Barton, TfL’s Director of Network Management, said: “London’s road network plays an absolutely vital role in keeping the capital moving and this has become more apparent than ever over the last year, with our pavements in particular playing a key role in enabling safer walking journeys. We recognise the hugely important job done by utility companies and we’ve worked closely with the industry to develop these changes to our pioneering Lane Rental scheme, which will boost safety standards and make a real difference to everyone using our road network, including people walking and cycling. We’ll continue to work closely with the industry to help make London even safer and more sustainable in the years to come.”