Amey and South Yorkshire Police launch road worker safety campaign

25 November 2016
Image of a man holding a stop sign.

For Road Safety Week (21 – 27 November), Amey have partnered with South Yorkshire Police to ask motorists to think about how they act around roadworks and to help their workers stay safe.

The safety of its staff is Amey’s number one priority but sadly employees of Amey (and companies in Amey’s supply chain, such as Aggregate Industries) have to face almost daily abuse from drivers who are angry at having to wait a couple of extra minutes at roadworks. Added to this are the drivers who speed or drive recklessly through roadworks - it’s easy to see why the roadside is one of the most dangerous places to work in the UK. In Sheffield, roadworkers have been physically punched, the victim of verbal abuse and even driven into by vehicles – for simply trying to do their job and improve the condition of the city’s roads as part of the Streets Ahead partnership with Sheffield City Council.

South Yorkshire Police are on board with Amey to show motorists who do not take notice of road closures or fail to respect roadworkers that action will be taken. Motorists and members of the public who do fail to obey road closures could face anything from a visit from an officer to even a prison sentence.

Carl Padgett is a supervisor for a carriageway resurfacing team, working on the city’s roads, and is regularly on the receiving end of motorists’ and residents’ anger. He has been the victim of threatening behaviour after motorists have taken exception to road closures or driven through them.

Carl said: “We are just doing our best to do our job but sometimes we do become the focus of people’s anger and frustration and it’s unacceptable. We try to be as accommodating and as helpful as possible and we do understand that in some circumstances we will have to allow access and if possible we will. But we do need to get on with our job, just like anybody else across the city.

“We would like the public to see the improvements that we are making across the city, rather than the temporary disruption caused by a road closure, and to think twice before they act unreasonably around round workers and road closures. We will be reporting incidents to the police and they will be taking follow-up action.”

Rob Allen, Amey’s Business Director in Sheffield, said: “Working on the roads is a dangerous environment anyway, but mixed with abuse from the public and careless driving this is made even worse and we will not tolerate this. Nobody should have to suffer this kind of abuse when doing their job. We are working closely with the police to send a message out to anyone who thinks about threatening our workforce that it is not worth it, we are working closely with South Yorkshire Police and reporting all incidents.

“We understand that roadworks can be frustrating for motorists and the general public, but the signs and road closures are not there to try and delay people, they are vital to keeping our staff safe whilst we carry out much needed road upgrades.”