Heavy fines for roadworks offences

Two firms have received significant fines after pleading guilty to roadworks offences.

Somerset County Council is responsible for managing the road network and prosecuted British Telecom PLC and Wessex Water Services Limited as part of its commitment to minimising disruption and keeping the public safe.

The cases, heard at Taunton Magistrates on Monday 21 September, were:

Yarford Road, Kingston St Mary, nr Taunton

British Telecom PLC pleaded guilty to three offences under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA). The first offence, under S54, for failing to give notice of the intention to carry out works on the public highway. The second, under S60, for failing to co-operate with the highway authority and the third offence, under S65, for failing to sign light and guard a worksite to ensure the safety of the workforce or travelling public.

This relates to unauthorised roadworks on 7 August 2019.

British Telecom PLC were fined a total of £14,000 for all three offences and ordered to pay £2,678.33 in costs and a victim surcharge of £181.

Collett Road, Norton Fitzwarren nr Taunton

Wessex Water Services Limited pleaded guilty to two offences under S60 and S65 of NRSWA 1991.

The first offence, under S60, for failing to co-operate with the highway authority and the second offence, under S65, for failing to sign light and guard a worksite to ensure the safety of the workforce or travelling public.

This related to works on 7 May 2019.

Wessex Water were fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £2,640 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “If you want to work on our highways, you have to do it in the right way. This includes co-operating with the Highways authority, avoiding unnecessary disruption on our roads and ensuring people’s safety. On these occasions, however, they were ignored.

“I’m pleased to see significant fines handed out and hope this sends a strong message that we will take action when it is in the public interest to do so.”

Details of approved roadworks can be found on our searchable map at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/roadworks. If anyone is concerned about roadworks they can flag this up to the team by contacting @TravelSomerset on Twitter.