Improving the traffic flow is a crucial objective for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson as he prepares to face the judgment of the electorate next year.
One idea that would help would be to charge utility companies a proper lane rental. To do this Boris needs approval from central Government. A change would presumably also apply elsewhere.
In his State of London speech last week Boris said:
I have come from a meeting this very afternoon with P Hammond where he has agreed to lane rental for all who propose to dig up the roads and I can tell you that road speeds in London are at last increasing to a not very impressive 9.4 mph.
The details will be important. The charges must be enough to have bite. How long will it take to introduce them?
Boris scents an important victory. 38% of road delays in London are caused by roadworks. A lack of urgency in carrying them out is often apparent.