Shepherd's Bush has one of the most dug up roads in London our Council has called on public utilities who continually dig up our roads to be charged for the priviledge of doing so. The logic being that it might focus their minds on pulling their collective fingers out and getting the job done more quickly.
Seems like a good idea to me - but not, you'll be amazed to learn, to the utility companies themselves.
After I wrote about London's most dug up road, Richmond Way in the Bush, one frustrated Busher said this in the comments:
"They [the roadworks] are there so often I thought it was Time Team. Every time I see them digging I can expect my mains water to stop and then the electricity goes off at entertaining intervals."
And during yesterday's water cut off due to the same water main bursting as the last two times one of you commented:
"The Utility companies have treated West London with total contempt, bringing the area to a standstill on occasion with their continuous works. Yes it needed doing, but they should have paid out for it to be worked on properly, not short staffed, all to increase their precious shareholder profits".
This BBC piece explains how business group London First has joined forces with councils like ours to press for an end to continually dug up roads, with the traffic chaos that ensues. Deputy Leader Cllr Nick Botterill says this:
"It may not be the most efficient manner as far as they're concerned, but actually as far as our residents are concerned, it's got to be better that these works are carried out as quickly as possible."
I have to say I was amazed that Thames Water seem to see fit to dig up every other road but when it came to replacing the one water main that keeps bursting and cutting large swathes of west London off, they're just "considering" it!