London mayor Boris Johnson has persuaded utility companies to sign up to a code of conduct which aims to cut the delays and congestion caused by roadworks in the capital.
Utility companies will also begin to test the software and systems necessary for a permitting system to be ready as soon as a formal scheme is approved by the government.
Mr Johnson said: “By making these pledges the utility companies have agreed that the simply incredible situation of their being allowed to dig up any road in the capital with little notice and even less coordination must now end. The aim of the code of conduct is better coordination and far less disruption for Londoners.
“None of us can escape the frustration of sitting with engine idling or pedal poised at road works manned by an invisible army of workers. There may sometimes be a good reason for this and sometimes there is not.
“But from today if no information signs are available on site they will be able to log on and ask Transport for London to find out exactly what is going on.”
Around 300,000 holes are dug in London’s roads by utilities companies every year with inadequate regulation, a City Hall statement said.
Nigel Bourne, director of CBI London, said: “A CBI/KPMG survey showed that two thirds of businesses say congestion on London’s roads has got worse, and 43% of them blame streetworks as the main cause.
“Jammed roads are an expensive headache for London’s businesses and hopefully this approach will improve things.”