Thames Water has been fined thousands of pounds after causing chaos by setting up roadworks and traffic lights without permission.
The council’s transport spokesman Cllr John Locker said: “Thames Water displayed a wholly cavalier approach to the rules around roadworks and road closures. There is a system in place to ensure that roadworks are properly co-ordinated so as to minimise inconvenience to the travelling public and to coin a phrase, Thames Water drove a coach and horses through these procedures.
“To make matters worse the roadworks were set up long before any actual works were to be carried out, so the public were inconvenienced for longer than was necessary, which frankly adds insult to injury.
“We hope the legal action we have taken here acts as a timely reminder to them of the importance of sticking to these procedures and keeping disruption to roads users to the absolute minimum.”
The first episode was in Putney Bridge Road on November 10 last year when traffic signals, signs and barriers were put in place at the junction with Oxford Road which closed one lane and caused tailbacks to vehicles and buses in both directions
There were no Thames Water operatives or contractors on site and no actual work was being carried out. Investigations later revealed that the utility company only applied for a streetworks permit later that day.
In two separate court hearings the company was ordered to pay a total of £8,254 in fines and costs after it admitted three breaches The Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007 by failing to obtain a valid permit to carry out works on the Public Highway.