Transport for London’s clampdown on rogue roadworks has led to the successful prosecution of BT for carrying out works without the relevant permits.
Since April 2013 firms undertaking work anywhere in London have to apply for a permit before they can begin digging up the roads in order to ensure that highway authorities can coordinate work and minimise traffic disruption to road users.
The telecoms giant admitted all offences, which included working without a permit in Devonshire Road in Lewisham and Jamaica Road in Southwark and working in breach of permit conditions in Bath Road in Hillingdon.
Court action was brought after the firm failed to pay a series of Fixed Penalty Notices issued by TfL.
In addition to fines totalling £2,620 BT was ordered to pay TfL’s full prosecution costs of £3,500, bringing the total financial penalty to more than £6,000.
The court heard that BT has been prosecuted by TfL for 28 offences since 2010 and issued over 650 Fixed Penalty Notices of which 82 were issued in 2015.
In passing sentence, the Judge said: “I have to give consideration to the seriousness of these offences and impact on road traffic particularly given the number of fines previously issued against BT by TfL for similar offences.”
Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Ensuring that roadworks are carried out in a safe manner is vital, especially in a busy city such as London.
“BT are repeat offenders – having failed to manage their roadworks properly on a number of occasions. We will always push for the strongest possible action in order to ensure London’s streets are safe and free from unnecessary congestion.”
The works were carried out by contractors of BT’s Openreach division which maintains its copper and fibre network.
An Openreach spokesperson said: “We apply for permission to complete more than 15,000 jobs involving street-works in London every year – and we always seek to follow legal guidelines and procedures.
“The vast majority of these jobs are approved and completed without a hitch, but we got it wrong in these four cases, so we apologise.
“We have now payed the appropriate Fixed Penalty Notices, having investigated the causes with our contractors.”