For the second time in six months a water company has been ordered to pay tens of thousands of pounds in fines.

Severn Trent Water must pay more than £43,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to eight offences relating to the unsafe implementation of traffic management measures across Shropshire – in a prosecution brought by Shropshire Council.

The charges relate to work carried out by Severn Trent Water between March and September 2023, including the failure to adequately sign, light and guard part of the B4368 from Munslow to former Bridgnorth District boundary in March 2023, when an inspector found that work was being carried out without any traffic control at all..

The sentencing was at Telford Magistrates Court on 12 February 2024.

Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, said: “Shropshire Council is responsible for regulating works taking place on our network of roads and any avoidable breaches that disrupt the flow of traffic and safety of the network are taken extremely seriously, as this prosecution shows.

“All of these offences arose from a misuse of the statutory legislation that, if used correctly reduces the impact of such works on the road users, local communities and businesses, thus reducing inconvenience.

“We’re pleased the court agreed that – given the seriousness nature of the offences in respect of the potential harm to the public – the ultimate responsibility rested with Severn Trent Water, despite their suggestion that it was down to issues with their contractors.”

“We hope this prosecution serves as a warning to all utilities companies, and reassures road users that we will take action against companies that break the law.”

This month’s fine follows Severn Trent Water’s conviction in October 2023 for misusing the statutory powers that enable utilities companies to close a road for work classified as emergency or urgent without prior planning or notification, which saw the company fined more than £56,000 for 10 offences, including a charge of providing false notification of work which needed rectifying through immediate street works in Ludlow’s Corve Street in November 2022.