Water company Thames Water has been fined for failing to correctly give notice of street works to West Berkshire Council. The street works caused major traffic delays in the area.
Thames Water pleaded guilty to two offences under the Roads and Street Works Act 1991 at Newbury Magistrates’ Court on the 24th July. The prosecution was the first of its kind to happen in the West Berkshire area and came about as a result of an investigation by the council’s transport and highways service in co-operation with trading standards. The charges related to two offences which were committed back in October 2013.
The court found that Thames Water failed to give the correct notice of emergency works that were carried out in October last year. It found that workmen left temporary signals during busy traffic periods which in turn caused disruption to traffic. On the second occasion, the company put up traffic lights that were constantly stuck on red, again causing delays. The company were found to have failed to give advance notice.
For each offence, Thames Water were fined £120 and West Berkshire Council won £210 in costs. There was also a victim surcharge of £20.
A spokesperson for West Berkshire Highways said:
“The decision to prosecute was taken after previous fixed penalties had been issued to Thames Water for failing to comply with the notification requirement causing considerable disruption to traffic during the peak travel period. This prosecution sends a clear message that the council will take legal action where companies ignore this important piece of legislation.”