The equivalent of more than 144,000 hours, or 16 years, of traffic congestion was avoided due to Transport for London (TfL) coordinating roadworks in the Capital last year. TfL and other service providers shared trenches at nearly 1,200 sites across the Capital to avoid roads being repeatedly dug up by different organisations.
TfL ensured that wherever roadworks took place the Capital's boroughs, utility companies and major developers were also given the opportunity to lay cables for telephone or broadband, repair or renew water pipes or set up electrical connections.
A £4bn Road Modernisation Plan is currently being delivered across London by TfL, alongside other major schemes such as the Northern Line Extension at Battersea. Every possible opportunity is taken to ensure other organisations that need to access services under the road surface can carry out their work at the same time.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: `It is crucial that we use the limited road space within our streets as effectively as possible. That is why I fought to get a lane rental scheme for London and that is what has created a strong incentive for this type of joint working. I am delighted it is proving successful.'
Garrett Emmerson, TfL's Chief Operating Officer of Surface Transport, said: `We do everything we can to keep London's traffic moving and minimise the disruption and congestion that road works can cause. While we are carrying out the biggest investment in London's road network in a generation, we are coordinating with others to future proof the network so we, wherever possible, only need to dig the roads up once. It's not only on big schemes where we do this - if utilities need to access their cables we do what work we can at the same time too. By planning ahead we are saving drivers a whopping 144,000 hours of future disruption each year.'
In October, when a new traffic island was being built on Battersea Park Road for the Northern Line Extension (NLE) and Battersea Power Station development, TfL coordinated works by BT, Thames Water, UK Power Networks (UKPN) and Virgin Media to serve both the new station and the surrounding developments. All of these utility works would have individually required an additional 45 days of closures and disruption, but these were all completed within the NLE closures.
Ian Noble, Thames Water's Head of Water Networks, said: `We're delighted this coordinated approach is paying off as we continue to make London more resilient for the future. This includes replacing 400 miles of Victorian water pipes by 2020, and more careful planning with TfL to keep any traffic disruption to a minimum.'
TfL's state of the art traffic control centre operates 24 hours a day to minimise congestion in London, where continued economic success is currently driving a boom in construction projects. The use of technology such as Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT), proven to reduce delays by up to 12%, is being expanded across London. In addition, up-to-the-minute traffic information is provided via digital road signs, TfL's traffic status page and TfL's Twitter feeds. To help further minimise disruption, a new team of enforcement officers has been deployed to key road corridors and junctions to crack down on inconsiderate or illegal driving.
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