Highways focus on safety during health crisis

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Lancashire County Council's highway service will be focused on responding to issues which are critical to safety during the coronavirus pandemic, with most other work being postponed.



Teams will concentrate on tasks such as winter gritting, fixing potholes, and repairing traffic signals and streetlights in order to manage the need to operate with a reduced pool of staff, and minimise contact between people as far as possible.

Minor issues which are not vital to safety, and planned work such as resurfacing of roads and improvements to bridges, has been suspended for now.

The council has also temporarily changed the way potholes are repaired to avoid the need for staff to wear dust masks, due supplies of protective equipment being prioritised for vital health and care services.

Usually repair teams will cut around a pothole to create a neat patch. However as cutting creates dust with the need for crews to wear facemasks, an 'infill' method is now being used where the existing hole is cleaned out as far as possible before a bonding coat and new bitumen is applied.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Our top priority has always been to ensure our roads are as safe as they can be, and the changes we have put in place in response to the coronavirus crisis are intended to help us continue to achieve this.

"These changes will also help to ensure the safety of our staff, with the postponement of work which can be rescheduled helping to reduce the need for contact between people.

"Where safety critical work will continue, we have put in place arrangements for our staff to maintain social distancing while working, and travelling to and from depots.

"I know the condition of our roads is important to people, and we will seek to continue to make repairs which are as good quality as possible without the need to cut around a pothole.

"I'm always grateful for the hard work carried out by our highway teams, however I'd particularly like to thank them for their resilience during the current health crisis. The situation is putting extra pressure on everyone, and in many ways the work carried out by our highways teams to maintain the roads and ensure other vital services can function is more important than ever at present."

Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel


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