Signing of Utilities and Highways Charter

Local residents and commuters are set to benefit from less congested roads after Barnet became the first London borough council to sign a charter for coordinating roadworks with gas, water and electric companies.

The Utilities and Highways Charter was signed at Hendon Town Hall yesterday (3 March) and means the council and utilities companies will plan and organise works together to minimise disruption.

Barnet has 700km of public roads and pavements where these works take place. Reducing the number of road works, and the time taken to complete them, will benefit residents and businesses by lowering congestion and easing traffic across the borough.

In attendance was Cllr Dean Cohen, Chair of Barnet’s Environment Committee, who said: “This Charter is good news for residents. By signing up to the principles and ways of working contained in the Charter we are formalising best practice for collaboration on street works on the highways network, improving the communications relating to the notification of works, and promoting efficient working practices.

“The Charter promotes a collaborative and innovative culture and will act as a reference point for all those working on the roads, and footways in Barnet to ensure there is minimal impact on our residents and businesses alike.”

Geoff Mee, Executive Director for Environment at Barnet Council, commented: “I’m thrilled that the Charter has been signed. I’ve been impressed by the commitment and collaborative working from all parties. By adhering to the codes of practice detailed in the charter we will reduce the impact of necessary street works across the borough, which is good news for anyone using Barnet’s highways, good news for utilities and good news for the environment.”

With many companies expected to sign up over the coming months, yesterday’s utilities signatories were Cadent Gas, Affinity Water and Thames Water.

Another signatory was Gary Hawkins, London Streetworks Manager at Cadent Gas, who said: “We work extensively across Barnet roads, as we do in other London boroughs. We’re acutely aware of the need to work closely with Barnet’s Highways team to minimise the impact on residents, and this Charter formalises and makes explicit how we do this. It may be the first such charter and I’m sure it won’t be the last!”

“Cadent are committed to enhancing the collaboration model in Barnet and across London and providing innovative solutions on street works.  This Charter is something we want to explore moving forward.”

The original signing ceremony, scheduled for December was postponed because of the Omicron surge.

Signatories pictured above are:

L to R standing – Rob Marchand (Barnet Re), Matthew Piercy (Thames Water), Geoff Spiller (Affinity Water), Gary Hawkins (Cadent Gas), Ian Edser (Barnet Re) – Seated – Cllr Dean Cohen, Chair of Environment Committee, Barnet Council

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