Dismore welcomes new digital map of underground pipes and cables

Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore has welcomed news that the Mayor of London’s Office has been awarded a share of £3.9m by the Government’s Geospatial Commission as one of two national pilots to create a digital map of pipes and cables in London. Known as London’s Underground Asset Register (LUAR), the scheme will operate across six local authorities that are currently being selected. The Mayor’s Office is working closely with utilities, transport providers, and other partners to create the digital map.

The scheme will allow workers to see underground pipes and cables on mobile phones or laptop computers before they start a dig.  This will help to reduce disruption on the roads through better planning and more coordination between infrastructure providers and local authorities. It is estimated that the cost to the UK’s economy of accidental strikes on underground pipes and cables is £1.2bn a year. Workers who hit gas and electric pipes by mistake can also put themselves in danger of death or serious injury.

Mr Dismore said:

‘I welcome this and hope one day it will be rolled out across London. Currently, different organisations have their own maps and do their own surveys showing where such things as gas pipes and electricity cables are, but the lack of a combined map creates an increased risk of potentially lethal accidents.

‘I understand that some new social housing schemes in Barnet may have suffered delays because of unknown pipes and cables. These delays cost money, and they prevent people being housed.’

Mr Dismore has written to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asking if the boroughs of Barnet and Camden can be considered for the pilot scheme.