‘Dig once’ venture by UK Power Networks powers London development

Utilities have worked on a new joint venture that will create extra infrastructure and reduce roadworks for residents in the East End of London.

For the past 18 months, UK Power Networks and Thames Water have been working with the Mayor of London’s Infrastructure Coordination Service and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to develop a future-proofing pilot project.

As the Isle of Dogs, in Tower Hamlets, is a high growth area likely to need new utilities for future developments, extra cabling tubes have been laid during current excavation work in Byng Street. UK Power Networks, Thames Water, the Mayor’s Infrastructure Coordination Service and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which funds the project, are driving forward a ‘dig once’ approach to avoid future disruption.

Delivering quick and efficient roadworks earned UK Power Networks multiple national awards over the past two years, including jointly winning the Highways Partnership Award. Now the company is collaborating on this unique scheme.

Colin Smith, Streetworks Manager at UK Power Networks, says, “From ensuring work sites are compliant and safe, to letting people know about our works at an early stage, we do all we can to minimise disruption for people whenever possible. This influential scheme of works will help to secure vital supplies for this area in years to come.”

Engineers at UK Power Networks work in consultation with local businesses and community groups, to minimise disruption during the essential work and the collaboration is helping to foster innovation.

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills at Greater London Authority, Jules Pipe CBE, says, “The Byng Street project is a successful example of utility companies and highway authorities collaborating to future-proof strategic locations in high-growth areas. Driving forward the dig once approach, it demonstrates how innovation in infrastructure delivery brings benefits to local residents, businesses and the environment.”

Simon Moore, Head of London Planning at Thames Water, says, “It makes sense for utility companies such as ourselves and UK Power Networks to better collaborate with the highways authorities. Working closely together we can provide a more streamlined service for local residents and businesses across London and ensure the capital’s infrastructure is ready to meet the challenges of aging assets, climate change and population growth.

“Schemes such as in Byng Street show that by working together we can collectively deliver critical asset renewal programmes more quickly, less disruptively and more cost effectively.”

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