Thames Water fined over potentially dangerous roadworks

One site’s setup could have precipitated a head-on traffic crash, says Transport for London

Jon Sharman
Monday 18 October 2021 15:08
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<p>People were forced to walk in the road in Eltham Road, southeast London</p>

People were forced to walk in the road in Eltham Road, southeast London

Thames Water has been fined for setting up potentially dangerous roadworks including one operation that could have caused a head-on traffic crash.

The firm must pay £100,000 following a prosecution by Transport for London (TfL).

At one of the three work sites, in Eltham Road near Lewisham, southeast London, pedestrians were forced to move from the pavement into the road to get past.

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

And in West Hill in Putney, southwest London, workers failed to install adequate signs or lights, or to guard, the works. Pedestrians and cyclists were also not given ways around.

Safety conditions worsened after Thames Water “repeatedly failed” to properly fix the issues when TfL demanded it, the transit authority said in a statement.

Finally, the water company also failed to provide details of the exact location, dimensions and other engineering information related to work in Purley Way in Croydon, which TfL said had a “significant impact on the road network”.

All three sets of works took place during October and November 2019. Prosecution was delayed by coronavirus.

A Thames Water spokesperson apologised for the failures and said the firm was trying to improve, adding: “We recognise we did not meet the high standards we and our customers expect.”

Glynn Barton, TfL's director of network management, said: “Ensuring roadworks are safe is vital. 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 [that] the company makes significant improvements.”

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