Friday, 11 May 2012

Telecom Giants Told To Repair City Grass Verges


Cllr Geoff Heathcock
(LD, Queen Ediths)

Telecom giants, BT and Virgin Media are to be asked to pay for repairs to grass verges in Cambridge’s Mowbray Road after residents complained that their companies’ vans damaged them.

Workers parked on the verges during the recent wet weather and drove off leaving them churned up say residents.

They complained to Cambridge City Councillor, George Pippas, who represents Queen Edith’s, saying that drivers are prohibited from parking on verges under a council by-law which these companies appear to have ignored.

Cllr Pippas took their complaints to city council enforcement officers who told him that both companies would be contacted to either pay for the damage or carry out the repairs and the area would be photographed as evidence.

“The grass verges have been devastated by these vehicles parking on them,” said Cllr Pippas, “and residents are understandably furious. The destruction spoils the area and residents are left living with it once companies have finished their work.  

“I am pleased that the city council is going to contact these companies asking them to repair the damage. We have a by-law which prevents drivers parking on the verges so that they are protected and this should apply to everyone.”

Geoff Heathcock, Cambridge City Councillor for Queen Edith’s added: “Anything we can do to ensure the utilities put right what they have damaged is absolutely right and sets a good example to others who constantly damage our verges"

Cambridge City Council Enforcement Officer for Streets and Open Spaces, Lisa Munro told Cllr Pippas in a letter that she was taking up the matter with Cambridgeshire County Council Highways Department.

And she added: “I will be contacting both BT and Virgin Media with the view to recovering costs or to repair the damage themselves. I will be photographing the area to use as evidence.

“BT have an obligation to inform County Council Highways Department as to when works will be carried out and subsequently when repairs will be made to any damage caused. I believe that County Council therefore have already been in contact with BT but this is the information that I am waiting for.

“We would of course support County Council with the verge parking byelaw and will enforce against anyone seen parking on the grass verges.”