Thames Water fined for roadworks which ‘could have caused crash’

London- Thames and Water has been fined £100,000 for unsafe roadworks including a site which could have caused a head-on crash, Transport for London said.

The water company was prosecuted for failures at three locations on major roads in London.

On Eltham Road near Lewisham, south-east London, people were forced to move from the pavement into the road to pass the site.

This led to vehicles moving into adjacent lanes of oncoming traffic and “could have caused a head-on collision”, according to TfL.

Thames Water failed to adequately sign, light and guard a site on West Hill near Putney, west London, or provide pedestrians and cyclists with suitable alternative routes.

The firm “repeatedly failed” to rectify the problems when notified by TfL, the transport body added.

The water company also failed to provide details of the exact location, dimensions and other engineering information related to work on the Purley Way in Croydon, south London.

TfL stated that this had a “significant impact on the road network”.

Glynn Barton, TfL’s director of network management, said: “We work hard to keep London moving and, as part of that, we need the co-operation of utility companies.

“Ensuring roadworks are safe is vital to keeping people walking, cycling and using the road network safely, which is why we prosecuted Thames Water for breaching these important safety rules.

“We are working with Thames Water and other utility companies to ensure that roadworks are carried out properly, safely and with minimal disruption to road users and the company makes significant improvements.”

All three sets of roadworks took place in October and November 2019.

The prosecution was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A Thames Water spokeswoman said: “We recognise we did not meet the high standards we and our customers expect on these occasions and we’re sorry for the inconvenience this caused.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our staff, customers and the locations where we work is one of our highest priorities and it’s an area we continuously seek to improve and embed within our company.”

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