Two serious incidents of abuse on road workers maintaining Luton’s road network has led to VolkerHighways and Luton council reinforcing their condemnation of abuse on anyone that works on the public highway.
In one incident that took place in Dallow Road, road workers and traffic management operatives were verbally abused and threatened by several members of the public who wanted to get through a road closure, leaving them feeling ‘unsafe and on-edge’ during the incidents.
Elsewhere, in Oakley Road another worker was threatened by a member of the public who wanted to get through another closure to their house. They then proceeded to attempt to run over an operative and refused to move their car until the individual was let through.
There were also separate incidents across Luton, when several traffic management operatives were abused when tasked to close specific roads to allow them to be worked on.
Their job was to keep traffic flowing safely with as little disruption as possible, while informing residents and road users the reason for the road closure and which alternative routes to take to carry on with their journeys.
One worker was spat at, while another was threatened with a spanner by a member of the public who was unhappy about not being able to take their usual route home.
The council wants to remind motorists that roadworks, although frustrating at times, are there to improve the road network for the people of Luton and those travelling through it.
It plans and coordinates work in advance as much as possible, informing residents when this is taking place, but occasionally emergency works need to take place which means this is not always possible.
The council understands you might be annoyed by this at times too, but please don’t take it out on its hardworking team of roadworkers-who are just doing their jobs.
Cllr Javed Hussain, portfolio holder for sustainable development and highways at Luton Council said: “Abuse of road workers has to stop. The public rightly expect their road network kept up to standard but as a result they have to be patient and treat our workers with respect, the same way they would expect to be treated in their own jobs. This year, we have treated over 200,000 sq metres of roads to help create safer, more smooth journeys for the people of Luton.
“We need to remember that every day somebody’s father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother is put to work on the public highway and abusing them is wholly unacceptable.”
Jason Convey, head of HSEQS at VolkerHighways, said: “In Luton and up and down the country, road workers are now accepting verbal and physical abuse as part of their everyday job, and they shouldn’t be. We are working closely with Luton Council to find ways to reduce the potential impact on our workers and are committed to stamping out road worker abuse for good.”
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