An energy company has received what Transport for London (TfL) said was the largest ever fine in London for mismanaging streetworks.
Appearing before Westminster Magistrates' Court last week, London Power Networks, a subsidiary of UK Power Networks, pleaded guilty to two counts of carrying out work without a permit and a further two counts of failing to serve the required statutory notices before beginning work.
Streetworks in London hold up buses
It was fined £10,000 for each offence of working without a permit, which TfL said was the highest level ever imposed in London to date for a single streetworks offence.
For failing to serve statutory notices, the company was fined a total of £4,000, which resulted in an overall fine of £24,000. It was also ordered to pay £3,722 in prosecution costs.
The Judge said: ‘I have seen a number of these cases and I remain unclear why large organisations such as London Power Networks continue to undermine regulations put in place to reduce inconvenience to road users when conducting streetworks. There is no acceptable excuse in my view and I hope the sentence passed today reflects that.’
TfL said it brought the prosecutions as part of its commitment to ensure streetworks cause the minimum disruption as possible to road users.
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport, said: 'Not providing these notices impacts on our ability to successfully coordinate streetworks and we will continue to push for the toughest penalties possible for utility companies caught acting unlawfully.
‘We are committed to keeping London's roads as clear as possible preventing unnecessary traffic build up, which disrupts people's daily commute and worsens air quality.'
UK Power Networks pointed out that in August BT was fined a total of £51,000 after a subcontractor ‘failed to meet the required standard’ on two sites in Lincolshire.
A spokesman said: 'We very much regret the inconvenience experienced by road users which was the result of a very unfortunate clerical error.
'We take our statutory obligations seriously and have added new, improved measures to the thorough processes that we have in place for managing around 20,000 excavations we undertake every year.'