Friday, 21 August 2015

"My dad works here..."

Leaving the house at 6.30am, Dan kisses his wife and son goodbye and closes the front door, already dressed in his head-to-toe high-visibility uniform. Vehicle checks done and kit loaded up at the depot, he heads out with his crew for a day of road patching.

Transport for Buckinghamshire’s (TfB's) operational gangs, inspectors and technicians are made up of fathers, sons and brothers as well as mothers, daughters and sisters, all working hard and expecting to return to their most important role within their family at the end of the day, without suffering injury or abuse while at work.

With a summer of road improvements well under way, TfB is reminding all road users to treat those working on the roads with respect. Whilst these improvements will considerably benefit our county, TfB is aware of the frustrations and inconvenience that can be caused by the works.

Road workers often find themselves working close to moving traffic, however their workplace is just as valid as an office, school or shop, and they should be able to expect the same level of respect and courtesy, without fearing verbal or physical abuse.

Unfortunately operatives encounter this kind of behaviour daily, and TfB wants to highlight and discourage this unacceptable conduct, reinforcing the good work carried out each day by the men and women helping to keep our roads safe.
Reports from TfB’s road workers include accounts such as:

“…the driver jumped out of the vehicle and opened his boot to remove a tool. He then approached the lorry, shouting…”

“…Audi sports car approached site at excessive speed, making no attempt to slow down upon seeing the site or crew…”

“…while replacing barriers, I had a member of the public rant and rave at us about the traffic delays due to our lane closure. He would not listen and was very abusive…”

This behaviour can be tough for the operatives and is not only disrespectful, but shows a disappointing lack of support for the hard work that goes into much needed repairs to our roads and footpaths, grass cutting work and other maintenance tasks on and around the highway.

Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire County Council said: 'Our guys and girls work tirelessly, day in, day out carrying out work that affects us all. It's a tough job, but some people make it tougher! We all need to remember that these people are someone's dad, mum, daughter or son, and like all of us, should expect to do their job without suffering abuse, and be able to return home to their families unscathed - mentally and physically.

'Our crews are highly professional and are trained to deal with aggression towards them, however I do not expect them to have to put their training into practice and would encourage support and encouragement for the work these men and women do.'

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Anti graffiti action on canal bridge

Reducing graffiti on our local walls, bridges and underpasses is an ongoing challenge, so when the Aylesbury Society approached Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) with an idea for a mural, TfB jumped at the idea.

​Aylesbury High Street canal bridge has suffered with graffiti throughout its life, and the suggestion of painting a mural containing local scenes was warmly welcomed and likely to enhance the area. The Aylesbury Society enlisted the help of Aylesbury Youth Action (AYA) to design and paint the mural which contains reminders of the historic Friars Club, St Mary’s Church, the Hazell Watson and Viney print works, and showing Aylesbury through time with paralympians, the new university campus and the recently erected wind turbine.

​Painting designs such as murals has historically shown a reduction in graffiti, and with an addition of a top layer of anti-graffiti coating, this mural should remain in all its glory for many years to come.

Ken Evans from the Aylesbury Society said, "The Aylesbury Society was very impressed by the colourful mural painted by AYA on the wall under the Oakfield Road bridge. They decided it would be an excellent idea to ask the group to paint a mural under the High Street bridge. Approval was obtained from Transport for Buckinghamshire (who own the bridge) a year ago. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then, but the mural is at last being painted."

​Sara Butler, Manager at Aylesbury Youth Action said, "I am delighted that Aylesbury Youth Action has been invited to be part of this exciting project. The young people have enjoyed creating the design, and we look forward to seeing members of the community get involved in creating the mural over the week, assisted by Project Workers Suz and Salma."

​Paul Irwin, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire County Council said, "I'm delighted that we can support initiatives such as this, which will create a beautiful addition to our County Town. The hard work and effort that has gone into designing this piece is clear, and I hope it becomes as much a landmark as the scenes it contains!"​

​Initiating the idea and fundraising has all been undertaken by the Aylesbury Society, with TfB contributing with preparation of the surface and final anti-graffiti coating and Aylesbury Youth Action providing the design and carrying out the painting.

Ken Evans added, "Generous grants were obtained from Aylesbury Vale Community Chest, the Buckinghamshire Community Foundation & Transport for Bucks. Local firms who sponsored the mural were Motts Travel, Dayla Ltd and Michael Anthony Estate Agents, plus a private donor. The total cost of the project is £4,200."​

The mural is now complete and can be viewed in all its glory!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Half way mark in the Westbourne Street Link

Buckinghamshire County Council contractors are now half-way through the first phase of a new route through High Wycombe.

The £2 million Westbourne Link, part of High Wycombe's Masterplan, is phase one of a scheme to give traffic an alternative route through the town centre from the A40 (Oxford Road) to Marlow Hill.

They have been working on the Westbourne Street link from Belfield Road junction to Desborough Avenue since May and are due to finish in October.

Night-time closures of Oxford Road have enabled them to build a new section of road linking Westbourne Street to Oxford Road, new kerbs and drainage, utilities diversions, and a culvert in preparation for any future opening up of the River Wye.

Work at night will continue in Oxford Road until October to enable resurfacing and new pavements between The Pastures and Bellfield Road, tree-planting trees and green spaces, and installation of new streetlights and drainage.

Route diversions will remain in place throughout the project.

Phase two of the alternative route, from the southern end of the new Westbourne Street Link, along Desborough Road through the old gas works to Marlow Hill roundabout, is anticipated to start by March 2016.

High Wycombe's Masterplan - a joint project between Wycombe District and Buckinghamshire County Councils - aims to strengthen the town centre as a focus for jobs, shopping and leisure.

The project works programme and general arrangement plan, is updated weekly, on
Background notes

Buckinghamshire County Council and Wycombe District Council apologise for any inconvenience caused during the works. To minimise disruption, the works that have the largest impact on the public have been programmed to be done at night.