A gas company is being fined for causing traffic jams in the hour rush-hour on Tuesday (29 March).
Brighton and Hove City Council said that Southern Gas Networks had broken an agreement and started work during the morning rush-hour, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Traffic at the junction of Lewes Road and Coombe Road was gridlocked from about 8am after the company’s workmen dug up the road to instal pipes to a nearby property.
There was a repeat later in the day when the company failed to clear the site, causing delays to drivers leaving the city during rush hour.
After complaints from motorists and the bus company, furious council officials stepped in and ordered Southern Gas networks to stop work immediately.
The council is now in the process of issuing formal notices and fines for incorrect working.
The gas company had permission from the council to begin work after the rush-hour and to re-instate the road in time for the evening rush-hour.
They were due to follow the same procedure the next day.
Christina Liassides, the council’s head of highways operations, said: “If Southern Gas had stuck to the agreed schedule, the works would have had very little impact to traffic flows.
“We work hard to co-ordinate roadworks in the city to minimise disruption to road users and we will not tolerate companies who blatantly ignore our advice and break agreements.
“We are awaiting an explanation from Southern Gas Networks and will only allow them to proceed if we are fully assured that this will not happen again.”
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