Energy company London Power Networks has been fined £24,000 for streetworks offence
The prosecution was brought by Transport for London (TfL) as part of its drive to minimise the disruption of roadworks to road users.
London 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 streetworks notices before beginning work. The charges relate to schemes undertaken in Bressenden Place and Lower Grosvenor Place on 9th February 2016
At Westminster Magistrates' Court on 7th September, London Power Networks – a subsidiary of UK Power Networks – was fined £10,000 for each offence of working without a permit, the highest level ever imposed in London to date for a single streetworks offence. For failing to serve statutory streetworks 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.
In passing sentence, 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."
Garrett Emmerson, TfL 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.”
TfL has prosecuted London Power Networks for five previous offences since 2014. Including this latest offence, the company has now been ordered to pay a total of £37,000 in fines for mismanaging streetworks since 2014.
A spokesman for London Power Networks said: "We pleaded guilty to two failures to obtain a permit before carrying out works on the highway and two failures to give notice of works at Bressenden Place and Lower Grosvenor Place, London on 9th February. 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 which we undertake every year."
Since 2010 TfL has issued more than 1,650 fixed penalty notices, of which 167 are since September 2015.