VolkerHighways trials innovative sign solution to eliminate hazards

VolkerHighways has developed an innovative new approach to the placement of traffic management signage, which eliminates hazards and disruption to pedestrians.

Hackney sign trial 2.jpg
Hackney sign trial 2.jpg

Legislation requires the use of advance warning and roadwork signs, and obstacles such as parked cars and cycle lanes can prevent them from being placed in the carriageway. As a result the signs are often placed on the footpath, which can hinder access or present a hazard to pedestrians.

After resident Mrs Wiles raised concerns with Hackney Council regarding access difficulties due to signs on the footpath, the VolkerHighways team were keen to consider how they could contribute to solving this problem. Having consulted traffic signage regulations and the Department for Transport (DfT) who provided recommendations on conducting relevant risk assessments, the solution was to mount the initial chapter eight signs (men at work and narrow road) on existing sign posts and lamp columns, at a suitably safe height. In order to reduce the temptation of theft, the signs were constructed from Dibond which is lightweight, strong and has no scrap value.

The solution was trialled at a site chosen by Hackney Council that both the client and Mrs Wiles inspected, and these trials were a great success. With the signs erected on posts or columns, pedestrians have unobstructed access to the footpath while motorists and cyclists benefit from the increased visibility of the signs. With permission from Hackney Council, VolkerHighways aim to use this new method of working where possible and will assess each new site for its suitability.

DfT have praised the potential of this innovative solution, and the next step is to roll out the scheme to other highways term maintenance contracts where suitable. By working closely with the local authority, residents and the DfT and with advice from our HSEQ team, VolkerHighways’ proactive approach to improving the safety of the public is set to benefit both pedestrians and road users in Hackney and beyond.