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I woke to a deep cranial judder, while jewellery boxes buzzed on the adjacent shelf, the entire house having converted into a giant massage chair. My eyes slit open to track the deep, wall-to-wall ceiling crack springing new tributaries. "Thames Water?" I croaked.

"Virgin Media," my husband corrected.

"More mouse migration," I groused over the coffee grinder. The last roadworks excavation only a few weeks ago drove a host of our adorable furry friends to seek sanctuary in our kitchen, as if their housing benefit had just been capped. "And Thames Water is right around the corner. If they could only coordinate — !"

"Don't start," my husband cut me off.  "No tirades before coffee."

OK. But now I've had coffee.

This month, Transport for London finally pilots a "lane rental" scheme, charging utility and broadband companies up to £2,500 per day for obstructing major thoroughfares at peak traffic times. Lane rental is one of Boris Johnson's better ideas, an attempt to rectify the lunatic state of affairs whereby 100 different companies have been given carte blanche to dig up any of London's roads whenever and for however long they like, causing 38 per cent of the city's traffic delays.

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