I got a lovely email from Boris Johnson today, informing me of his new initiative to tackle badly-managed roadworks, including a website where you can snitch on the contractors that are making your life hell.
He says (with grammar not befitting a journalist):
just introduced new, tighter standards for roadworks and making it
easier for you to tell us when you spot sloppy examples so we can take
action to sort it out. You can report sites that don’t come up to
scratch at tfl.gov.uk/roadworks
This rather smacks of the failed 'cones hotline' from the 1990s, and it's a rather desperate last throw of the dice by a Mayor that promised to sort out roadworks and, like everyone before him, has found out that actually doing it is a lot harder than talking about it. But at least it's a pleasant surprise to see that TfL have actually considered pedestrians and cyclists: the blurb at the website pledges that roadworks should:
Be tidy and safe with a clutter-free site so it is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users
Take up as little road/pavement space as possible with a compact working area and eliminating the unnecessary use of cones, safety barriers and storage of materials
Crikey. It's a bit of a shame that TfL's own roadworks don't come up to scratch rather too often. I wonder if TfL are aware of how much contractors rely on cycle lanes as a repository for signs, cones and materials. They're probably expecting the website to get most of its traffic from taxi drivers and other important road-users, rather than troublesome cyclists whose journeys don't really matter. Browsers at the ready, folks!