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Virgin Media ordered to pay £40k fine for endangering lives of pedestrians

Published: 18/01/2017 by Comments

Virgin Media ordered to pay £40k fine for endangering lives of pedestrians

£40k payable by Virgin Media in Richmond Council prosecution case for ‘endangering lives of pedestrians’ for third time since 2014.

Virgin Media must pay close to £40,000 in fines and legal fees following its road workers’ “endangering lives of pedestrians” for the third time in the last three years.
Richmond Council filed a case against the huge telecommunications company following discovery that pedestrians and drivers in Runnymede Gardens in Whitton, were not protected from a circular saw that was left on the road, without appropriate signage, or cordoning off in place.

The Virgin Media contractors in question also failed to secure an open trench.  Council officers inspecting various sites also located abandoned signs in Waldegrave Road in Teddington, as well as 32 pavement slabs missing from and topped up with uncompressed tarmac – creating an, “uneven and dangerous surface”.

Virgin Media were convicted of 10 offences at the Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court on the 10th of January and fined £37,500.  The company were also held liable for Richmond Council’s legal costs amounting to £2,184.44 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Councillor Peter Buckwell, cabinet member for highways, stated: “This really is unacceptable. When will Virgin Media Ltd learn from their mistakes?
“The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance. And, our officers will continue to prosecute companies that fail to comply with streetworks legislation whilst carrying out work on roads across the borough.

“We monitor all companies who carry out works. And, this should be a warning. If you are not safe – we will prosecute.”
A Virgin Media spokeswoman said: “While we continue to expand our fibre broadband network to more homes across the country, we endeavour to minimise disruption for the local communities.

“In this case, we apologise to Richmond Council and the local residents affected by the streetworks carried out by contract partners on behalf of Virgin Media.
“We are working with our contractors to ensure that all work is carried out with professionalism and at the highest standard, and to safeguard against such mistakes in the future.”

Virgin Media has previously been fined £14,000 with costs in 2014 and £28,000 with costs of £3,279 in 2015.  The company has been prosecuted for “endangering lives”. This is the third time in three years that the company has been charged for issues relating to its street work projects.

Photo credit: James Petts

Colette Lamb
News article by:
Colette Lamb

A business sector writer with over 15 years of experience working in the marketing, commerce and law sectors' internationally and in the UK. Interests include composing music and other creative communications such as art and dance therapy.

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