New way of working as safety schemes begin

Important road safety work to improve skid resistance at key sites across the Island is to begin next week.

The activity by Island Roads will be undertaken by crews of two who have undergone recent training to help them work in accordance with latest Government advice.

The work will involve laying new anti-skid, high-friction surfacing at around 30 sites including busy junctions, the approaches to pedestrian crossings, at roundabouts, bus lanes and at traffic signals.

Work on the busiest locations will be done at night and while traffic lights will be used at some locations, in others it will be necessary to implement road closures. Information boards will be displayed at locations prior to work commencing.

Steve Ashman, Island Roads service director, said: “Although a large part of the population has been asked to stay at home recently, we have continued work to keep roads and surrounding areas safe and properly maintained so the key people who need to get to work, especially our NHS staff and emergency services, are able to do so without delay or increased road risk.

“Though resurfacing schemes have been on hold, we have continued to undertake important tasks such as repairing road defects, keeping the streets clean and bins emptied, cutting the grass so that it does not reduce visibility and keeping the traffic signals and street lights working.

“Making sure there is the required skid resistance at the necessary sites is also an important part of keeping the network safe.”

Steve said that in recent weeks, staff have reviewed working practices to ensure they could be undertaken as safely as possible and in accordance with Government guidance such as maintaining a two-metre distance wherever possible. Staff will, at all times, also have access to all required construction industry PPE and we know that residents too will observe the correct social distancing measures in respect of approaching our staff.

He added: “Our work falls within the construction sector where government advice is to continue with these activities. It is about balancing the need to maintain a safe network with our duty to protect our staff, their families and the wider community.

“We remain in conversations with the IW Council about resuming other highways improvement work in a way that complies with all Government guidelines and we hope to be giving more details of that work shortly.”