Utility firm fined for unsafe roadworks in London

August 5 2015  

Utility firm fined for unsafe roadworks in London
UK Power Networks has been fined more than £17,000 for “unsafe and frankly appalling” roadworks over a three month period at three sites in the capital.
 
Roadwork enforcement inspectors from Transport for London identified a range of issues from wrong signage to disorganised traffic management in Cheam, Lower Clapton and Bromley between December 2014 and February this year.
 
At one location, Masons Hill in Bromley, schoolchildren were forced into the carriageway during heavy traffic due to inadequate provision of alternative pedestrian routes.
 
Westminster Magistrates’ Court fined UK Power Networks a total of £13,000 and ordered them to pay TfL’s full prosecution costs of £4637.
 
In passing sentence, the Judge also said: “I am unimpressed with UK Power Network’s approach to these works. It is important and vital to carry out works safely and that clearly did not happen at these locations. I am even more concerned about the risk to children and it was only fortunate that serious injury was avoided.”
 
Transport for London’s chief operating officer for surface transport Garrett Emmerson said: “The scale of the unsafe, unchecked and frankly appalling works carried out by UK Power Network in just three months is shocking.
 
“We will continue to monitor and firmly prosecute anyone who tries their luck carrying out unsafe working practices on our roads.”
 
A UK Power Networks spokesman said: “We accept the findings of Westminster Magistrates Court that in four very specific cases the company did not fulfil all the aspects of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, relating to signage and other issues.
 
“While we take this matter extremely seriously, it is important that it is put in to the context of the approximately 20,000 excavations we carry out in London every year. The company has in place a system of inspection and monitoring of such street works to ensure that they meet and exceed the appropriate legal standards.”
 
(Photo: Steven Hughes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Common Licence)

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