Seven Utility Companies Penalised for Failure to Comply With Scottish Road Works Legislation

The Scottish Road Works Commissioner has issued penalties totalling £138,000 to seven utility organisations for failing to comply with their statutory obligations when placing cables and pipes in roads.

These failings were identified by the latest Scottish National Coring Programme in which core samples were taken to confirm that the reinstatements met the required quality standards.

The organisations and the values of the penalties which have been issued are as follows:



Penalty amount

Virgin Media


Last Mile Electricity




Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution


Neos Networks


Mua Electricity





The Commissioner has powers to issue penalties up to a maximum of £100,000 where a statutory undertaker has failed to comply with duties to co-operate with roads authorities. The value of the above penalties take into account the rate of failure and the overall number of road works undertaken by the organisation to estimate the potential degree of harm caused. Previous performance, including penalties for similar failures, and mitigations provided by each organisation were also taken into account in determining the level of penalty.

Scottish Road Works Commissioner, Kevin Hamilton said:

“When utility companies dig up roads and pavements, by law they have to return them to an acceptable standard. Whilst it’s disappointing that a small number of companies have failed to meet quality standards, overall I’m pleased that evidence shows there has been an improvement across the industry. Every time a utility company gets it wrong and has to go back and fix it, it leads to more inconvenience and disruption for all of us. These companies have assured me they’ll do better in the future and I hope these fines serve as a warning to others.”

Note to Editors

Companies named have the right to appeal.

Fines are payable within 36 days, with all funds ultimately remitted to the HM Treasury Consolidated Fund.

The Scottish Road Works Commissioner has taken action following results from the National Coring Programme, which is a regular survey of the quality of utility road reinstatements. 

The National Coring Programme has been undertaken regularly over the last 20 years, with the pass rate increasing steadily from 44% in 2001/2 to 90% in this programme.

The full National Coring Programme report can be found at: 

National Coring Report 2022-23 Programme | Scottish Road Works Commissioner