A utilities company has been fined £1,500 after a council took it to court for closing part of a street without permission during road works.
Bolton Council prosecuted Electricity North West (ENW) after the company’s sub-contractor breached the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. ENW pleaded guilty at Bolton Magistrates’ Court to two breaches of the Act.
The court was told that sub-contractor Excalon had been carrying out work in Station Road, Blackrod, in August 2016.
The left hand slip road from Station Road had been closed and traffic was turning left from the ahead-only lane when the pedestrian phase of the crossing was in use.
Cllr Nick Peel, executive member for environmental services, said: ’We take offences such as these extremely seriously. Lane closures need to be planned carefully as they have implications for public safety.
‘We always try and work with utilities providers and their contractors but we have no hesitation in prosecuting those who have a flagrant disregard for regulations and put members of the public at risk.’
The court heard that in advance of the work, during a meeting between ENW, Excalon and the council, there had been no discussion or approval for such a lane closure and that ENW had failed to apply for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order.
Council officers who visited the scene noted that traffic management was ‘very poor’ and ‘dangerous’, with no signs to advise motorists that the left hand lane turn had been closed.
As a result, drivers who wanted to turn left as they came down Station Road in the ‘ahead’ lane had to make a 90 degree left turn, just metres from the signal-controlled pedestrian crossing, putting pedestrians in danger.
ENW was also ordered to pay costs of £1,020 and a victim surcharge of £150.