Severn Trent Water fined after tailbacks - The Solihull Observer

Severn Trent Water fined after tailbacks

Solihull Editorial 27th Nov, 2019 Updated: 27th Nov, 2019   0

SEVERN Trent Water has been fined after it caused major disruption on part of the region’s road network in February.

The Coventry-based company pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and was fined £3,200, plus ordered to pay a further £300 in costs as Solihull Council secured its first prosecution under the Highway Permit Scheme.

The scheme gives the council powers to direct and challenge organisations working on the road network and keep disruption to a minimum.

On February 14 Severn Trent Water closed a lane of the A34 Stratford Road in response to an emergency water leak. The impact of these works caused tailbacks on the A34, A3400 and M42.

Solihull Council says it was agreed that works would take place in the evening after the peak period and would not commence again until after 9.30am the following day, with Severn Trent Water advising the works would be complete by 3.30pm on February 15.

Severn Trent Water failed to stick to this agreement, the council adds, and the traffic management system was still in place at 8.30am on February 15, causing further significant tailbacks and delays.

The repair had been made in the previous evening, which meant no work had taken place overnight.

A lane of the road had remained unnecessarily restricted throughout the evening and into the rush hour on the morning of February 15, again causing disruption, the council says.

The traffic management system remained in place throughout February 15 and was still in situ after 3.30pm despite assurances from Severn Trent Water that it would be removed, the council adds.

In order to prevent further disruption and having assessed the site, the council removed it at 4.20pm to avoid further disruption that evening.

According to Solihull Council Severn Trent Water claimed the incident was due to a breakdown in their internal communications.

A spokesperson from Severn Trent Water told The Observer: “Firstly, we’d like to apologise to everyone affected by the lane closure on Stratford Road in February.

“We put the temporary lane closure in place to keep people safe while we worked to repair a burst on one of our larger water pipes, serving thousands of customers.

“We understand the frustration felt by many motorists living and working in the area, caused by a delay to remove traffic management from the road, after the pipe had been fixed.

“We’re working closely with the council to improve our performance, which we recognise hasn’t met the high standards we set ourselves.”

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