Transport for London (TfL) has announced that from the beginning go of 2010 it begin using a new roadworks permit scheme. The scheme is aimed at coordination of the various companies that undertake maintenance work to wires and piping that run underneath the capital’s roads in the hope that this will reduce the amount of disruptions caused to motorists.

Earlier this year the government approved the decision which was ratified by the TfL and 18 borough councils in greater London ahead of the start date announcement. As of the 11th of January any company that wishes to dig up roads will be required to apply to TfL for a special permit which will be handled by the urgent roadworks team and also to associated utilities to minimise the impact of the works.

Statistics show that TfL utilities dug up some 300,000 holes around the capital last year and the new measures are part of Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to improve London’s road congestion. Johnson has stated that any company wishing to dig must do so in a manner that is coordinated and limited in its impact on Londoners, adding that the new TfL scheme was a key part of the process. Johnson also suggested that motorist who disobeys signage could face fines and even points on their licence.

Included in the 18 boroughs signed up to the scheme are Croydon, Redbridge, Bromley, Chelsea, Kensington and Hammersmith & Fulham.

The UK’s official Highway Code currently holds over 300 rules for motorists – as the official driving guide all car hire users are encouraged to be familiar with its content.