Utility companies fined more than half a million pound for ‘rogue signage’ and overrunning roadworks in county

Lincolnshire County Council has fined utility companies more than half a million pounds for rogue signage and overrunning highways works last year, with Anglian Water making up nearly a third of all fines.

Lincolnshire County Council revealed which utility company has been fined the most for rogue signage and overrunning road works.
Lincolnshire County Council revealed which utility company has been fined the most for rogue signage and overrunning road works.

Figures released by LCC show a 66.74 per cent increase in fines in 2021-22, charging £543,050 for a total of 1,875 permit breaching days.

Reasons for fines include where works have carried on, or signs left out, after a work permit has ended.

Anglian Water was fined £168,850 for 571 days of breaches – 31.1 per cent of the overall figure.

The county council has seen a 53.29 per cent increase in fines since 2017 and a 60 per cent increase in the length of time signage has been left out.

Anglian Water had the most fines for four of the past five years, except 2019 when Western Power was fined £9,200 across 20 days of breaches.

The water company has paid out 86.64 per cent more in fines since 2017 and 72.37 per cent in 2021-22.

However, it also left signs out nearly 90 per cent longer than 2017 with an average of 1.5 signs being left out every day last year.

A spokesperson for the council said they were working hard to minimise disruption for road users.

They said teams were increasing their efficiency and part of the reason fines were going up was because their “policing” of the situation was improving.

“It’s unfortunate that these types of thing happen and we do try to resolve issues as speedily as we can,” Lincolnshire County Council said.

“We continue to work with other companies and providers at every possible opportunity to limit repeats of such items where we can.”

Last year Anglian Water undertook 16,348 works in the public highways, and said they made “every attempt to clear site within permit dates”.

A spokesperson said “Anglian Water is the largest work promoter in Lincolnshire, therefore apply for more permits than any other utility or highway authority.”

“A large amount of permits have been duration challenged to reduce our site occupation and minimise further disruption.

“This year has been one very challenging year for all water companies with the driest summer we have seen in a long while, which has caused unprecedented volume of leaks and bursts which become more complex.

“We’ve done the highest volume of works than we have ever done previously and are continuing to see a backlog of that even now.”

Anglian Water said they were working closely with Lincolnshire County Council to “improve our working relationships, understand their concerns and give them some assurance”.

This included a new management system and project team, working to complete smaller works on the first visit and trying not to leave traffic management up over the weekend.