BT fined £10,000 over danger Shropshire roadworks

Phone giant BT has been fined £10,000 over dangerous roadworks in Shropshire that led to motorists being involved in a series of near misses and pedestrians being forced to walk in the middle of the road.

BT fined £10,000 over danger Shropshire roadworks

BT failed to comply with safety measures, bringing chaos to Soulton Road, Wem, a court heard.

No adequate footpath was provided for pedestrians and there were only two-way temporary traffic signals in place, instead of three.

The temporary traffic lights were also not being manually controlled, as required by a safety permit.

BT pleaded guilty to five offences in connection to the works in May last year.

Sentencing the company, chairwoman of the bench at Telford Magistrates Court Ms Nicola Hughes said: "There was blatant disregard of the conditions within the permit."

She said there was "little thought" given to the impact on road users and pedestrians.

Ms Hughes said leaving debris on the footpath, rendering it unusable, had been the most serious offence.

Mr Mike Davies, prosecuting on behalf of Shropshire Council, said the firm had been granted a roadworks permit, under certain conditions.

He told Telford Magistrates Court that when an inspector arrived on May 17 last year he noticed a number of requirements had not been met.

Mr Davies said the inspector found no attempt had been made to provide a temporary footpath for pedestrians and parents and children had been forced to walk in the middle of the road due to unsuitable walkways.

He said the inspector also observed at least four "near misses" involving vehicles due to the set-up and described it as "dangerous".

He said: "They clearly didn't take into account their duties towards members of the public."

Ms Zahra Baqri, representing BT, said the firm had properly applied for a permit and the workers on site had not followed procedures.

She said that as a consequence of the incident, one worker was sacked.

Ms Baqri said: "Thankfully no-one was injured and thankfully there were no road traffic collisions.

"Since this incident, BT has put in further safeguarding measures, including refresher talks to all agencies they instruct."

She said if the council had chosen to issue a fixed penalty notice, the firm would have had to pay £300.

Magistrates fined BT £10,000, and ordered the firm to pay £3,197.05 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

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