The Plight of the Roadworker
There is a wide range of reasons why roadworks may be necessary
The above list is not exhaustive, but they all have one thing in common,
The completion of the works will benefit the residents of an area, road users, by improving facilities, or making the road safer.
Who authorises roadworks?
Roadworks are authorised by the Road Authority for that region which in most cases is the local County Council, exceptions being the high-speed network and tunnels. The Road Authority will have a legal responsibility and budget set by the Government for the maintenance of roads and a duty to plan and oversee utility works on their network to minimise disruption to the public.
Why is Traffic Management Necessary?
If the roads were dug up and works conducted without appropriate planning and consideration of the risk and safety factors this would present a major hazard to the public. Traffic Management Companies are experts at designing temporary traffic management schemes to ensure the safety of the roadworker, the road user, to minimise disruption, and to the best of their ability, keep traffic moving. Without temporary traffic management there would be chaos and dangerous situations would soon arise.
Is being a roadworker a decent job?
There are lots of benefits to being a roadworker, working outdoors, job variety, working as part of a team, job satisfaction, opportunities for overtime to increase wages, and good career development prospects. However, the job has its risks because where-ever there is moving traffic there is the potential for vehicle impact which is why the traffic management industry is heavily legislated and there is specific training to protect the roadworkers.
So what is the Plight of the Roadworker?
Everybody has the right to go to work, be respected, and go home at the end of the shift unharmed. However, the second a roadworker puts on hi-visibility PPE that person has become a target. Drivers, who under normal circumstances would be perfectly reasonable people, suddenly assume that the roadworker is only there to delay and inconvenience them, and therefore it is acceptable to hurl abuse at them, or even worse, attack them. The roadworkers are not punchbags, they are not inanimate objects without feeling, and they can be hurt physically and emotionally. The fact that the roadworker is there for the benefit of the road user and is providing a valuable service is lost. Next time you encounter a roadworker, be polite to them and offer them a smile, this will help make their day and make them feel valued.