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London UK Councils Fear Pedestrian Harm from Broadband Infrastructure Bill

Thursday, Mar 14th, 2013 (8:10 am) - Score 789

London’s 33 local authorities have today warned that the UK government’s new Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which is designed boost the roll-out of faster broadband ISP services by cutting red tape in the planning system, could pass additional costs onto city boroughs and “endanger road users” by obstructing pedestrian walkways and reducing sightlines.

London Councils, which represents the capital’s many local authorities and claims to support the publicly and privately funded roll-out superfast broadband (25Mbps+) to 90% of people by 2015, fears that the new bill will make it even easier for BT and other telecoms related companies to “bypass community decision-making and install new [street cabinets]“.

Cllr Chris Roberts, London Councils Executive Member for Planning, said:

We all want to support the rollout of broadband, but this must not compromise the ability of elected councillors to ensure our streets are both safe and attractive.

If the government is serious about localism, it should realise that greater, not lesser, planning powers are needed for local communities to deal with the actions of irresponsible telecoms companies.”

Mr Roberts suggested that London’s boroughs already have “insufficient powers to control the visual appearance of their communities” and have thus had to deal with a “double-whammy of poor planning protections and poor consultation” by telecoms companies.

The comments, which form part of the London Councils official response to the related bills consultation, follows only two days after the government agreed to amend its bill in order to better protect national parks and other areas of outstanding natural beauty (here).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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