London Borough of Barnet

Highways scheme aims to discourage 'shoddy' utility works

Published Monday 9 July 2012

Utility companies working in the borough can now be fined for late notification of repairs, working without permission or breaking agreed conditions under new rules brought in by Barnet Council.

As of 1 July, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) are being issued to companies which persistently fail to adhere to agreed terms and conditions when making repairs on Barnet owned roads and pavements.

Using the New Roads & Street Works Act (1991) and the Traffic Management Act (2004) Barnet Council's highways team can impose fines of up to £500 each time a breach is made.

Before any work is due to take place in the borough, the council must issue a permit to utility companies, stating the exact timeframe they have to complete repairs alongside agreed conditions to ensure works are carried out in a safe and efficient way.

These new rules will allow the council to fine water, gas, telecommunication and electricity companies for failing to confirm with the council's highways team that works have started or are due to be finished within the agreed timeframe - all essential information for the co-ordination of road and street works across the borough.

The council can also take action if companies breach their permit conditions such as not maintaining a safe route around works for pedestrians or the inappropriate use of temporary traffic lights.

It is hoped the new scheme will improve the performance of utility companies working across Barnet, minimise congestion and disruption to residents and deter any illegal works taking place without a permit.

Councillor Dean Cohen, Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

"This is an important step in making sure utility companies keep our pedestrians and motorists at the forefront of their minds when they start digging up the borough's roads.

"If a company persistently ignores our agreement when digging up the borough's roads and pavements, then it is only right we are able to issue them with a penalty. Any funds we receive will go straight back into the highways maintenance pot."

Contact Press Officer: Mike Langton