BT fined for town centre safety breach

9:30am Saturday 5th July 2014

By Gina Bebbington

BRITISH Telecom has been fined more than £3,000 after dangerous road works outside a doctors’ surgery in Northwich town centre.

The works took place on the footpath by Watling Street Medical Centre without any safety fencing to protect the public.

BT admitted three offences in relation to safety breaches in Watling Street when it appeared at Chester Magistrates’ Court on June 26.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) brought the prosecution when a BT subcontractor was spotted breaching safety legislation by a highways officer in February this year.

Magistrates heard that a wagon with a grab arm was being used to collect earth from the pavement without the area of work being properly fenced off with guard rails.

The court was told that it was of particular concern to the prosecution that the works were taking place directly outside the medical centre.

BT pleaded guilty to inadequate guarding of the works, not creating a safe route for pedestrians and not putting out signs to alert and control the traffic.

A spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) said: “The council will not hesitate to take action over unsafe street works and any company found breaching the safety legislation in the future is at risk of prosecution.”

BT was fined £3,300 and ordered to pay £1,200 costs.

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