Broadband supplier 'put public in danger' with 'unacceptable' roadworks

A generic picture of roadworks
-Credit: (Image: Stock Image)


A broadband provider has been slapped with fines and charges totalling over £11,000 after admitting to two offences in Somerset that posed a risk to pedestrians. Nextfibre Networks Ltd way was prosecuted by Somerset Council following works carried out in Bridgwater.

But the company failed to implement adequate traffic management to ensure pedestrian safety while working on two of the town's streets, violating the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. Councillor Richard Wilkins, Somerset Council's lead member for transport and digital, said that the prosecution showed how seriously the council took carrying out works without proper measures.

In addition to the two charges in Somerset, Nextfibre Networks Ltd also admitted to nine similar offences in Devon, resulting in a total of £30,000 in fines and charges. The case was heard at Taunton Magistrates' Court earlier this month.

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In Somerset, Nextfibre Networks Ltd admitted to two offences:.

  • On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Nexfibre Ltd conducted street works at Taunton Road, Bridgwater, Somerset, breaching S65 of NRSWA 1991 by failing to put in place traffic management to ensure the safety of pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities and the travelling public affected by the works.

  • On Thursday, September 21, 2023, Nexfibre Ltd conducted street works at Westonzoyland Road, Bridgwater, Somerset, once again violating S65 of NRSWA 1991 by not implementing traffic management to ensure the safety of pedestrians, especially those with disabilities and the travelling public affected by the works.

In passing sentence on Thursday, May 9, the court gave full credit to Nexfibre Networks Ltd for guilty pleas entered at the earliest opportunity and accepted the mitigation submitted. However, it found aggravating factors in that the works were deficient in any pedestrian safety and therefore there was a danger to pedestrians and road users alike and that the offences were numerous and committed over two counties.

After the hearing, Cllr Wilkins said: "We take these sorts of offences very seriously, carrying out works without proper measures is simply unacceptable. We will take action if companies are in breach of their duties."

He further urged the public to report any issues they observe to Somerset Council, stating: "Our message to the public is please report issues to Somerset Council if you see them help us to make sure companies work in a safe and considerate manner."

The court imposed fines totalling £8,000, along with costs of £3,325 for the offences committed in Somerset.