H&F has most Congested Roads in London: Utility Companies Blamed

Fines awarded for botched road works

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H&F officially has the most congested roads in London with 7.6 million hours lost in traffic, according to the latest Transport for London survey from 2007, the Council said in a news release.

Councillor Nick Botterill, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “We are a small and congested inner-London borough so when a utility company fouls-up road works and inconveniences local people we need to make them pay.

“We are hitting the rogue utility companies where it hurts – in the pocket. Residents and motorists have enough road works to put up with without them being delayed due to poor planning or botched jobs.”

Companies like Thames Water, EDF Energy and National Grid have coughed-up nearly £700,000, over the past three years, as Hammersmith & Fulham Council ups its defence of the borough’s road-network.

Rogue utility companies are being slapped with an average fine of more than £500 a day as the council gets tough on overrunning road works.

On major routes the council can fine companies up to £2,500 a day if work takes more than ten days to complete and £500 a day on works that take no more than three days.

The council is also part of the London Permit Scheme which allows local authorities to insist that utility companies buy permits before digging up the roads. The permits compel the companies to carry out works at specified times and follow set conditions to minimise disruption to local residents. Since the scheme was launched in January this year utility companies have had to fork-out and additional £73,000 after they were caught trying to dig-up local roads 123 times without permission.

Councillor Botterill concludes: “Our tough approach to issuing fines combined with the permit scheme is making the utility companies think twice about digging-up our roads willy-nilly.”

September 26, 2010