Call for fine increase on utility companies

PUBLISHED: 14:13 21 December 2011

Archant

Members of Parliament, including East Devon's Hugo Swire, and magistrates are being urged by county chiefs to ensure larger fines are levied against utility companies that have not properly reinstated roads following roadworks.

The council’s place scrutiny committee has been examining the standards of road reinstatements by utility companies

Devon County Council’s cabinet has supported their recommendation to urge the Magistrates’ Association to fine utility companies that have been prosecuted for poor reinstatements.

They also agreed to lobby the Government over the low levels of fines for streetworks offences.

The council’s regular sample of utility reinstatements found that between October 2010 and December 2010 only 29 per cent of Western Power Distribution’s work was up to the required standard.

While Wales & West Utilities achieved 47 per cent, South West Water 52 per cent and BT 67 per cent. The remainder of reinstatements, it was judged, would have a negative impact on the road network.

There was a considerable improvement between April 1 and June 30 2011, with 71 per cent of reinstatements by Wales & West Utilities up to standard, BT attained 77 per cent and Western Power Distribution 91 per cent.

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