TWO telecommunication giants have been fined by a court after being prosecuted by St Helens Council for carrying out poor work on local roads.

The local authority took BT and Virgin Media to court in separate cases.

BT was fined by £6,000 by St Helens magistrates and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge after pleading guilty on August 13, 2014 after carrying out sub-standard road repairs after relaying cables in Startham Avenue, Billinge.

Virgin Media was also fined £24,000 at St Helens Magistrates Court after admitting 12 offences relating to safety, sub-standard roadworks, failure to cooperate and numerous breaches of permit conditions after working on Knowsley Road, Peasley Cross Lane and Hunter Street.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “St Helens Council approved the works for the 7th and 8th December 2013. Our contractor began preparations on the 6th and, when a redundant drain was uncovered, the team worked past the agreed 6pm finish time to ensure the work was completed safely and promptly.

“We always strive to work within agreed permit conditions but, on this occasion, we can understand our contractor’s actions.”

Speaking on behalf of Openreach, a BT spokesman, said: “We are considering the court’s findings after our guilty plea.

"It is regrettable that this has occurred and we will be doing everything we can to put the situation right.”