Court issues £17,000 fine for roadworks safety breaches

UK Power Networks has been fined more than £17,000 for roadworks safety breaches.

Transport for London (TfL) has successfully prosecuted the company in connection with a wide range of roadwork offences.

The roadworks, which took place between December 2014 and February 2015, were carried out in Cheam, Lower Clapton and Masons Hill in Bromley. During the work TfL roadwork enforcement inspectors identified a range of issues, from the wrong signage to disorganised traffic management. At one of the locations, Masons Hill, school children were forced into the carriageway during heavy traffic due to inadequate provision of alternative routes for pedestrians – potentially putting lives at risk.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court fined UK Power Network a total of £13,000 and ordered them to pay TfL’s full prosecution costs of £4,637, bringing the total financial penalty to more than £17,000.

In a statement, TfL said the “fine adds to UK Power Network’s history of poor performance, having previously been issued with a total of 1366 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) since 2010.”

Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TfL, said: “The scale of the unsafe, unchecked and frankly appalling works carried out by UK Power Network in just three months is shocking. Ensuring that any roadworks are carried out in a safe manner is vital, especially in a major city such as London.
“I’m glad that the management of UK Power Network have already taken positive action to ensure there is no repeat of this type of behaviour. However, regardless of promises by senior management, 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 Spokesperson said: “UK Power Networks has accepted 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. We apologise for the inconvenience that any customers experienced in these specific cases, but would like to assure customers that safety is always our number one priority.”

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