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Capital roadwork code 'to cut congestion'

Date: 22 April 2009

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a code of conduct for utility companies in a bid to cut congestion in the capital.

The major firms working in London have agreed to abide by the code, which would see them providing information boards where they dig up the roads.

They have also pledged to work outside of peak hours where possible while at least one company will use high-strength plates to cover up holes in the road so they can continue to be used.

The scheme is currently voluntary and non-complying companies cannot be hit with any punishments.

However, it is being used as a pilot for a proposed permit system that could see penalties introduced.

As well as the major firms, including EDF Energy, National Grid, Thames Water and BT, AA president Edmund King has leant his support to the code, saying: "The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but we are hopeful that those signing this code will at last show that something positive can be done."

He warned that the system needs input from both companies and road users: "London's drivers should also take this code at its word and use the reporting systems available to them to report roadwork problems."

Londoners will be able to report companies that have left unattended sites to the TfL website.