Under-fire utility firm Thames Water has defended its record after it was revealed it overran on over 150 sets of roadworks last year alone.
The company has come under the spotlight in the last two months for making a series of blunders which led to late-running works in and around Fulham Palace Road, already a notorious bottleneck, causing traffic misery.
But the Chronicle can reveal these were not isolated incidents, with works involving Thames Water overrunning 155 times in 2010.
The firm, which is in charge of fixing London's 150-year-old underground water pipes, says that figure equates to just three per cent of the 6,000 jobs it completed in H&F and blames the antiquated system on its performance.
But Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which rejected a further 1,000 roadwork applications from the company last year, says utility firms are showing 'blatant disregard' for drivers, and has started fining them £500 for every day of delays.
In the last three years companies including National Grid, EDF Energy and Thames have paid out more than £700,000, yet the problems remain and have been highlighted at the same time the authority is promoting its 'Get H&F Moving' campaign.
There are fears at the Town Hall that the scheme, which is underpinned by plans to improve traffic flows in Fulham Palace Road with a new slip road, could be undermined by roadworks delays..
Deputy leader Nick Botterill said: "In order for the council's Get Moving campaign to improve the flow of traffic in Hammersmith & Fulham it is absolutely vital that utility companies like Thames Water buck up their ideas and carry out vital improvements speedily and with minimal disruption.
"There have been far too many instances where Thames Water and other companies have made a complete hash of relatively straightforward work and acted in blatant disregard of roads users."
Thames Water says it has actually made progress in the last two years, despite the difficult conditions.
"In 2009 we carried out 6,920 digs while in 2010 we did 18 per cent less. Ideally we wouldn't have to dig up the streets at all. But the fact is, beneath them lie 150-year-old, leaky cast iron water pipes that desperately need replacing to help safeguard London's water supplies for years to come - as well as making the need for emergency burst repairs less likely. "
Cllr Botterilll added: "It would certainly make our job easier if Thames Water were working with us and not against us."