Nearly £15k of fines were handed to BT for roadworks offences in Bridgwater.
The telecommunications firm was found guilty of two offences which included failing to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
Somerset Council is responsible for managing the road network and prosecuted BT earlier this year as part of its commitment to minimising disruption and keeping the public safe.
The case, heard at Taunton Magistrates on Thursday 16 March, related to the following:
Butts Hill, Frome
On Friday 21 October 2022, in contravention of S65 of NRSWA 1991 by failing to install traffic management to ensure the safety of pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities and the travelling public affected by the works. BT was fined £8,000 for this offence.
In addition, BT carried out the works, at Butts Hill, Frome without a valid or deemed permit contrary to Regulation 19, The Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007. BT was fined £500 for this offence.
The fines against BT totalled £8,500, with costs of £4,319.86 and a surcharge of £2,000 awarded against them. A combined total of £14,819.86.
In passing the sentence, the court gave full credit to BT for guilty pleas entered at the earliest opportunity and accepted in mitigation that BT took the following steps: it had issued guidance for its sub-contractors to take account of and to adhere to when conducting street works; and that it has since increased its training of operatives.
Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital said:
As a local authority, we have a statutory duty to prevent the public from being exposed to unsafe and unlawful street works. It is crucial to ensure that companies adhere to relevant safety standards and provide information to the highways authority.
We are now taking a zero-tolerance approach to these sort of unlawful activities on our network – the public expects nothing less – and we hope that this, together with the recent fines totalling £62k levied against Virgin Media for similar offences in Bridgwater, send a powerful message to contractors that they must obey the laws on streetworks at all times.
If you spot a problem on the road, you can report it quickly and easily by visiting www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-problem-on-the-road.