Scottish Water worst for bad road repair fines

Scottish Water chiefs have been criticised. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Scottish Water chiefs have been criticised. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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SCOTTISH Water has been ordered to clean up its act – after leaving the city’s roads in tatters.

The utility giant was forced to pay almost £15,000 in fines for shoddy work in the 12 months up to March.

It racked up 60 per cent more fines than any other firm digging up roads in the Capital, according to new figures released by the city council.

Transport bosses have now placed the firm on an “improvement programme”, which requires it to file monthly progress reports with the city’s road services management team.

Senior figures from the company have also been summoned for talks with council officials.

If Scottish Water, which regularly tops the league table for poor road reinstatements, fails to comply with the regime being imposed on it, the company could be reported to the Scottish Road Works Commissioner and face legal action.

The figures are the first to be published following a commitment by the council to inspect every single roadwork in the city to ensure it is properly repaired.

The number of inspections rose by 105 per cent compared to the previous year.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Edinburgh sees a high volume of traffic every day so it is essential that roadworks are carried out as efficiently as possible.

“The council is committed to ensuring roads and pavements are safe and accessible for all but we can’t do this without co-operation from utility companies.

“The council will continue to liaise with companies to discuss performance and to coordinate reinstatements as quickly as possible, with particular attention paid to those failing to meet our specifications.”

A spokesman for Scottish Water insisted the company was doing everything it could to leave roads in a good state once works were completed.

He said: “We are working hard to bring down the number of repairs required, and have reduced outstanding defective apparatus in Edinburgh by around 40 per cent in the last four years.

“Further work has been carried out since the end of March, the end of the time period covered by this report, and we are looking to maintain the pace of improvement.

“We are a unique multi-service utility – operating vast networks of both water and sewer pipes in Edinburgh – and have been investing significantly
in the city to improve services for customers in recent years, such as the new £130 million Glencorse water treatment works.”