Council prosecutes telecommunications giant for endangering lives - for the third time

Release Date: 11/01/2017

Due to their lack of street works road safety precautions, Virgin Media Limited have been successfully prosecuted by Richmond Council and ordered to pay £39,854.44 in fines and legal costs.

Last year, pedestrians and drivers in Runnymede Gardens in Whitton were faced with no road protection (e.g. no signs or guarding) when Virgin Media contractors left a circular saw in the road. They also left an open unguarded trench, where the operatives had no accreditation.

Similarly, at Waldegrave Road, Teddington officers discovered abandoned signs left in the street, as well as 32 pavement slabs missing from the footway and filled with uncompressed tarmac. This trip hazard left the footway with an uneven and dangerous surface.

Virgin Media Limited were brought before Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court on 10 January 2017. The Magistrates convicted Virgin Media Limited of 10 offences and sentenced them to a fine of £3750 per offence and ordered them to pay Richmond Council’s legal costs of £2,184.44 as well as a victim surcharge of £170. They have 28 days to pay £39,854.44.

The Magistrates considered that these were serious offences, where there was a risk to the public and sought to incentivise Virgin Media Ltd to remedy the existing bad practices by them and their contractors.

This is the third time that Richmond Council has prosecuted Virgin Media Ltd for failings connected to street works. Virgin Media Ltd were convicted in 2014 and fined £14,000 with costs and then in 2015 they were fined £28,000 and awarded costs of £3,279.

Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Peter Buckwell, said:

“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!!”

Updated: 11 January 2017