Roadworks are always inconvenient. By definition, they create a temporary traffic obstruction which means disruption and nuisance affecting all road users, and often pedestrians too. For drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists, roadworks can be the bane of their lives. Excess traffic due to roadworks can cause congestion, delays and diversions.
On today’s busy roads, no-one likes to be kept waiting, and it doesn’t take much for roads to clog up, whether through roadworks, accidents or simply the weather. And it’s not just road users who are inconvenienced by roadworks. Local residents, neighbours, shoppers, people who need to get to work, schoolchildren, mums with prams… they all depend on highways and pavements being fully accessible and safe to use. Finally, don’t forget local business owners: their revenue crucially depends on footfall to their door via accessible roads and pavements.
If you are planning to carry out roadworks or building works on your premises, property or road, it is therefore important to do so with the minimum of disruption and the maximum of consideration for everyone concerned.
In the first instance, make sure all relevant authorities have been informed well in advance, as you may need permission to carry out the works. Check with the local council and the highways department to make sure any paperwork has been completed.
It is also good practice to notify homeowners and businesses nearby whose movements may be affected, so that they can make alternative arrangements, put up diversion signs or raise any objections they may have.
Think very carefully about making the building site safe – this may include erecting temporary security fencing to keep trespassers out of the construction site, and road signs to warn approaching motorists.
Perhaps also consider asking your building contractor to provide temporary road plates to cover any access holes in the road during downtimes, such as lunchtime, overnight and at weekends. Unfortunately, accidents do sometimes happen, but with due care and attention you can minimise the risk.
Safety should be paramount in all works that are carried out. Do check the site once the workmen have left at the end of each day. Is everything neat and tidy? Have any tools or machinery been left lying around? Has the site been secured against theft? Has the road and/or the pavement been made safe for motorists, pedestrians, children and pets?
Provided all reasonable measures have been put into place to ensure a lawful, safe operation and due consideration has been given to all road and pavement users concerned, there is be no reason why your roadworks should cause alarm.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the automotive industry – working alongside a selection of companies including barrier and road sign specialist Maltaward (Barriers) Ltd. who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.