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Shropshire roadworks: Firms fined more than £500,000 for overrunning projects

By Dominic Robertson | Politics | Published:

Utilities companies have been fined more than half a million pounds by Shropshire Council since April because of overrunning roadworks.

Gas, electricity, water, and other utilities companies have agreed to pay fines of £514,750 for not completing work on time since April, the council has agreed.

It comes as Steve Davenport, the council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said that "a number of utilities are currently performing poorly".

He said that discussions are taking place in an effort to cut down on the number of roadworks which overrun.

The fines relates to 224 sites where work overran a "reasonable timeframe".

Telford & Wrekin Council has said that it has identified £192,250 of potential fines at 20 sites in the borough.

Powys County Council said it has fined companies £48,000 since the start of the financial year.

Councillor Davenport said: "Since April 2017 we have agreed with the relevant utilities companies that there were 224 sites that overran the reasonable timeframe.

"This resulted in penalties of £514,750 being agreed to be paid.

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"It is important to note that there are a number of utilities companies who are currently performing poorly and we are working with them to improve their performance as each instance causes disruption to our residents.”

A spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council said: "Since April 2017 Telford & Wrekin Council has identified 20 sites with potential penalties totalling £192,250 due to unreasonable and prolonged occupation of the highway."

Last year Shropshire Council handed out £858,975 of fines over the same period.

Those fines related to 268 sites in the area covered by Shropshire Council, where works went beyond "the reasonable time-frame".

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When the fines were revealed the council also said that one in four roadworks carried out by the companies was not meeting council standards.

Utilities companies have to apply for permits to carry out the work, which also set out the time by which roads should be reopened.

Shropshire Council is responsible for around 5,150km of roads.

Fines range from £250 to £10,000 per day and depend on where the work was taking place, and how busy the road is.

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