On March 1st the Department of Transport announced plans to greatly increase financial penalties upon utility companies for slow handling of street works. This follows the Department’s Street Works Action Plan published in December 2009. The new plans also increase Local Authority inspection visits to street works and gives them powers to penalise repeat offenders of poor standards. Utility companies will not be allowed to pass the cost of these new charges on to their customers.
At the end of last year Thames Water dropped their use of TWOSA (Thames Water Operational Services Authority) licences in relation to drainage and sewerage connections. Approval is now provided through a letter of consent and the inspection visit. Developers must use competent contractors to carry out the work, but they no longer need a TWOSA qualification.