British Telecom (BT) has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 after Transport for London (TfL) prosecuted the telecoms giant for two serious safety breaches that put public safety at significant risk.
The prosecution follows unsafe work carried out on Bruce Grove (A10), Haringey and Hook Road (A243), Kingston-Upon-Thames.
BT pleaded guilty to the unsafe execution of works with significant risk to public safety at Westminster Magistrates Court and was fined a total of £7,000, and ordered to pay £3,570 in court costs.
It was a TfL Streetworks Inspector carrying out a routine inspection who discovered the unsafe working practices in Bruce Grove, and a Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames Streetworks Inspector who stopped work immediately after witnessing the safety breeches in Hook Road the following month.
Both locations had poor signing, lighting and pedestrian guarding as well as incorrect traffic control.
The prosecution comes as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced plans to lobby Government for greater powers to manage road works, including increasing the current level of fixed penalty notice fines and also widening their scope to cover road safety offences.
In passing sentence the Magistrate said: "We appreciate the works are often subcontracted, but BT must assume responsibility for the shoddy manner of these works, particularly in Hook Road where the works were very close to a primary school. BT must continue to work with its contractors to ensure improvements.”
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport, said: “Extra care should always be taken around roadworks, not just for those working on site, but for members of the public passing by.
“Our Streetworks Inspectors have an important role checking utility work is being carried out correctly and safely, acting swiftly when they spot a problem. It is vital companies such as BT ensure safety on site and we will always push for the strongest possible action against those companies who put the public at risk.”
Since the beginning of this year, TfL has issued BT more than 200 Fixed Penalty Notices, has prosecuted the telecommunications company four times for dangerous and disruptive work offences and 14 times in total for all streetworks offences.