BT shells out almost £70k for breaching law during roadworks after being prosecuted by Herts County Council

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British Telecommunications has had to shell out nearly £70,000 after being taken to court for poor and unacceptable working practices during roadworks.

Its offences included failing to provide the correct notice and details of the works, closing roads without authorisation and failing to cooperate with highway authority Herts County Council.

They included works at Red Lion Lane, Great Gaddesden, in January and February.

Stuart Pile, council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Road and street works are unavoidable and there are a vast number carried out in Hertfordshire throughout the year.

“As highway authority we expect utility companies to cooperate with us and the law to minimise disruption and ensure the safety of road users and residents.

“It is hoped that this case will serve notice on utilities companies that we will take enforcement action and prosecute when necessary to ensure compliance.”

BT pleaded guilty to five breaches of the New Roads and Street Works Act and three breaches of the Highways Act at Watford Magistrates Court earlier this month.

The firm was fined £44,650 plus a £15 victim surcharge for the 20 offences and Herts County Council was granted full costs of £24,998.75.

BT spokesman Paul Hayward said: “Openreach takes any infringement very seriously; we are increasing our efforts, in collaboration with our contractors, to ensure that work undertaken on our behalf meets or exceeds the necessary standards in the future.”