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.'