Highways contractor fined thousands for failures

Ringway workers
Ringway workers

The firm in charge of fixing potholes, pavements and street lights across Herts has been fined by county bosses for failing to meet its targets.

Ringway was hit with £250,225 in penalties during the last financial year for not getting the job done to the expected level.

During 2013/14, the figure was even higher at £421,321.

The fines relate to failure to deliver work on a regular basis, such as not responding to emergency road repairs, not gritting a route within the target time frame, or working without a road permit.

Ringway has declined to comment on the issue.

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, the Lib Dem opposition leader and highways spokesman at County Hall, said: “It is so disappointing that these fines have to be made, but at least they relate to the numerous poor jobs that I and my colleagues and residents have to complain about.

“I understand that there are still likely to be fines this year so it does show that 
Ringway has not totally put its house in order.”

The latest highways report shows that during the last quarter Ringway failed to meet targets on dealing with potholes and hazardous pavements within response times, putting right exposed electrical cabling within one hour of being alerted and fixing street lighting within 20 working days unless it is due to an electricity supply fault.

Mr Giles-Medhurst said: “All I and residents want is a decent highways service that delivers the right job first time round.”

Councillor Terry Douris, who oversees highways at County Hall, said: “We are committed to working with Ringway to keep the county’s highways in the best condition and deliver excellent value for money for residents.

“The contract we have with Ringway requires them to meet certain performance targets around response times and quality of work. Where our contractors fall short of our high expectations we make sure they are held to account and cash deductions are made from their annual fee.

“This means in practice that Ringway have a strong incentive to meet the high standards we require and that we monitor their performance carefully to 
protect the public purse.”