Coronavirus in Hertfordshire: New measures to prevent highways workers being abused by public

Highways workers have faced abuse during the coronavirus pandemic. File photo. Picture: DANNY LOO

Highways workers have faced abuse during the coronavirus pandemic. File photo. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

New measures have been introduced to prevent Herts highways construction workers from abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Frontline workers carrying out vital roads maintenance to ensure they are fit for use by emergency services and delivery vehicles have been challenged by members of the public since the lockdown.

Residents have demanded to know why they are still working during the pandemic.

Executive member for highways, Phil Bibby, said: “Some of our frontline workers have been challenged - including verbal abuse - by local residents as to why they are still working. This is simply not acceptable under any circumstances – especially when they are maintaining the highway for the safe use of our emergency services and delivery vehicles.”

In a bid to prevent or reduce any potential antagonism from motorists and pedestrians, the county council will now be displaying ‘essential maintenance’ signs on some of their works.

Tougher guidelines imposed by the Department for Transport on the approach to construction and operating procedures to protect the workforce have also been introduced.

These support the approach the county council’s contractors have already been taking regarding safe working and social distancing but also provide further best practice guidance on hygiene for depots and sites.

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Crews working on road defects will now travel in separate vehicles, unless they are close family members living in the same household, and the focus will remain on the most urgent repairs during this time.

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