Cabling contractors derided as ‘incompetent’ after road closure

Given permission to dig one late at a time to lay cable, installers dug up all five lanes and caused traffic fiasco for London commuters.

Feb 21st, 2014

A report from GetWestLondon tells the woeful tale of cabling contractors who were criticized as being “incompetent” after their overly ambitious pursuit led to a road closure outside of London. GetWestLondon’s Robert Cumber reports, “Blundering contractors were today labeled ‘incompetent’ … Virgin Media’s contractors have been accused of ignoring Transport for London’s [TfL] instructions when laying cables overnight … TfL said it gave permission for the road to be dug up, but said it must be done one lane at a time to avoid causing traffic disruption.

“However, it says contractors attempted to get it all done in one night, digging up all five lanes,” Cumber continues, “and when they failed to finish in time, placing ‘inadequate’ plating over the trench. A spokesman for TfL said the covering was so weak and unsafe for traffic it appeared to bow under the weight of a single police officer.”

The report did not specify the officer’s exact weight. It did, however, quote TfL’s managing director for surface transport, Leon Daniels, as follows: “Once again, people’s commute into London has been thrown into utter chaos because a utility company has decided to have a cavalier attitude to roadworks.”

You can read Cumber’s full report here. It includes a photo of the dug-up-and-plated roadway.

You may also be interested in this classic editorial from our archives: Digging Up The Street

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