Virgin Media fined for unsafe working practices causing danger to London’s road users
9 May 2014 11:32 AM
Transport for London (TfL) has again
successfully defended the rights of all of London’s road users from
unsafe working and unnecessary delays and disruption caused by utility
30 April 2014, Westminster Magistrate's Court fined Virgin Media
£5,000 following a guilty plea to five separate offences on Croydon
gravity of the offences led the court to require Virgin Media to pay the
maximum victim surcharge of £420 and TfL’s full legal costs. Virgin
Media pleaded guilty to five offences committed on Croydon Road in the London
Borough of Sutton in October 2013.
These included carrying out unsafe working practices,
breaching two separate permit conditions, and two instances of failing to serve
the necessary statutory notices.
is the latest in a series of successful prosecutions by TfL as it works to
reduce unnecessary roadworks to improve traffic flow and conditions for all
London's road users.
February of this year, Virgin Media caused further disruption to Londoners when
they excavated the entire width of the A316 Chertsey Road to repair cables
during peak hours, causing hours of severe delays to road users in the
is currently prosecuting Virgin Media and its contractor McNicholas
Construction Services Ltd for this incident.
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at
TfL, said: “We expect that utility companies ensure that any disruption
caused by roadworks is minimised and the most stringent safety is upheld. Since
the introduction of our London Permit Scheme in 2010 we have seen these delays
reduce by over 50 per cent.
"We are pleased that the court has agreed that the
unnecessary delays caused by utility companies’ slapdash behaviour are
thoroughly intolerable. We are completely focused on cutting delays, and as
such, will be continuing to prosecute persistent offenders who show wanton
disregard for Londoners, as we have Virgin Media.”
During the sentencing, District Judge Goldspring cited
the potential serious consequences of works without proper guarding near a
primary school, and how Virgin Media were recently convicted of a similar
prosecution of Virgin Media is one of a number of ways TfL is improving
conditions for all of London’s road users.
of April 2013, all London boroughs have introduced the London Permit
a result firms undertaking work anywhere in London have to apply for a permit
before they can begin digging up the roads.
London's Lane Rental Scheme, launched by the Mayor
of London and TfL on 11 June 2012, is designed to reduce road users delays by
encouraging utility companies to avoid digging up the busiest roads at peak
Following the introduction of the scheme, more than 88
per cent of utility roadworks at traffic hotspots have avoided incurring a Lane
Rental charge in Lane Rental locations.
Before the scheme was introduced, only around 30 per
cent of utility roadworks at traffic hotspots avoided peak traffic
is leading the way for works promoters, including utility companies, by
avoiding incurring Lane Rental charges on 99 per cent of its works undertaken
in Lane Rental locations.
Last year, TfL successfully prosecuted Thames Water for
nine road works offences and Cable & Wireless for one offence of working in
breach of permit conditions and causing significant road disruption as a
permit scheme also enables TfL to monitor the number of roadworks taking place
on its roads at any one time and ensure that they don't exceed the agreed
2010 the cap was put in place to reduce the maximum number of works taking
place by 20 per cent; the limit has since been further revised to reduce the
maximum number of works by a further 10 per cent.
- Traffic Police Community Support Officers (TPCSOs) are
also used to clamp down on roadworks that are outside of their permit Londoners
can report disruptive or badly managed roadworks, as well as road defects such
as potholes and damaged footpaths, by visiting https://reportit.tfl.gov.uk.
enquiries received will be sent directly to the relevant Highway Authority (TfL
or a London borough) responsible, ensuring that direct and fast action can be
takenSince the beginning of the London Permit Scheme, TfL has issued Virgin
Media a total of 316 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for various streetworks
offences. In October 2013, Transport for London successfully prosecuted Thames
Water for causing unnecessary disruption. Link to PN