Should utility companies be charged to dig up London's roads?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Loshu 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #74385

    adrianshort
    Participant

    Our esteemed mayor has got a consultation on lane rental. The idea is that by charging utility companies to dig roads they’ll complete the work more quickly and consolidate repairs into fewer jobs. Fewer holes in the road mean less congestion and hassle for everyone.

    Could it work? Has it worked or failed elsewhere? Is there a better way to achieve the same goal?

    #81534

    Trikeman
    Participant

    The main reason companies spend so long digging up roads here is that their approach is:

    - dig up road

    - see which bits are broken

    - go back to depot to see if they have replacement bits

    - find they don’t, so order some

    - waits for bits to arrive

    - go back to hole in road and do the work

    In Germany, to get permission to dig up the road, a utility company must produce blueprints showing what’s under the road, and listing every part number and quantity. They must then have a van parked on site with a replacement unit for every part under that bit of the road before they so much as put a chalk-mark on the tarmac. They then dig their hole, find the broken part, replace it and fill the hole.

    #81535

    WilliamTM
    Participant

    Germany’s approach sounds good, but I’d keep Boris’ idea of charging for it to make them extra sure they don’t take long. However, I’d have the first 24-48 hours or so as “free”, so they’re not discouraged from making small repairs that – if charged for – they’d ignore.

    That sounds like a good “all round” approach, I think. :-)

    #81536

    Bromptonaut
    Participant

    What about bike lanes? I’m no fan of the Torrington/Tavistock route but it’s been severed east of Gordon Sq for several weeks due what seem to be BT works. Obviously a deep hole as they’ve shored in the sides but there’s no obvious urgency to complete.

    #81537

    ashbro
    Participant

    But if the utility company is charged, who actually ends up paying? I expect the cost will simply be passed onto the customers – you and I!

    #81538

    radii8
    Participant

    Replying to @Trikeman‘s post:

    Quote:
    In Germany, to get permission to dig up the road, a utility company must produce blueprints showing what’s under the road, and listing every part number and quantity. They must then have a van parked on site with a replacement unit for every part under that bit of the road before they so much as put a chalk-mark on the tarmac. They then dig their hole, find the broken part, replace it and fill the hole.

    *is impressed*

    Yes they should charge – it would mean works don’t lay vacant for weeks

    #81539

    mit
    Participant

    I think Ken Livingston wanted them to have some kind of change control board so utility companies would have to dig up the road and do all their work at the same time.

    It saddens me to see newly resurfaced roads being dug up by utility companies who then leave it patched up, so it will break in a couple of years rather than in 10-15 years!

    #81540

    arh14
    Participant

    @mit

    I completely agree. Patched up roads are annoying for cars but an even bigger pain when you’re cycling.

    I’d charge them, definitely. And put any profits back in to road repairs.

    #81541

    Loshu
    Participant

    <rant> ah! its not just the roads, contractors are constantly ripping up the pavement outside westferry tube station right outside my office window. grrrrrrr. First it was water mains, then cycle super highway 3, now i think its new fiber ducts for Bt open reach. </rant>

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