BEAR Scotland News RSS Feed

Roadworker Survey Reveals Ongoing Abuse and Dangerous Driving Around Road Works24 Jun 2019

ROADWORKER SURVEY REVEALS ONGOING ABUSE AND DANGEROUS DRIVING AROUND ROAD WORKS

70% of Scotland’s trunk roadworkers have experienced dangerous driver behaviour 

Half of roadworkers have experienced a ‘near miss’ when vehicles mistakenly enter a works area

One in three reported dodging missiles including litter and even bottles of urine

In the last year 70% of trunk roadworkers across Scotland have had their lives put at risk by motorists’ dangerous driving behaviour or have been subjected to verbal or physical abuse while they carry out essential maintenance and improvement works on the country’s key routes, a new survey has revealed. 

Scotland’s three Trunk Road Operating Companies are now calling on road users to be patient and respect the work force who carry out essential road maintenance.  

The Roadworkers Safety survey has been undertaken by Trunk Road Operating Companies BEAR Scotland, Scotland TranServ and Amey as part of a campaign in conjunction with Transport Scotland to speak up for roadworkers in Scotland.

Throughout the week-long campaign (24 June – 28 July), each Operating Company will highlight the statistics and real-life accounts and experiences from their teams.  

The key findings of the 2019 Roadworker Safety survey taken from across almost 400 industry employees include:

70% of those surveyed reported instances of private vehicles entering the works safe-zone area. 

69% of those surveyed witnessed road users ignoring red lights at road works.

Nearly two out of three (65%) reported being verbally abused by passing motorists. 

52% had a near-miss – i.e. they narrowly avoided being hit by a private vehicle erroneously entering a works area.

Almost one in three roadworkers (31%) had missiles thrown at them in the past year by passing motorists - including plastic bottles, apple cores, eggs, juice cans and even bottles of urine.

14% experienced physical abuse whilst carrying out works on some of Scotland’s busiest routes. 

To try to counter these negative driver behaviours, CCTV body cameras have been deployed at some road work sites with additional signs installed at some locations to try and address the abuse and unsafe behaviour.  

BEAR Scotland is responsible for managing and maintaining trunk roads in the North East and North West of Scotland. 

Eddie Ross, on behalf of BEAR Scotland covering the North West and North East of Scotland, said: 

“We understand that no one likes to be held up, however the behaviour of a small minority of road users is completely unacceptable. No one should have to experience unsafe or reckless behaviour in their workplace.  It is extremely disappointing to see the level of abuse and negative driver behaviour our teams have faced in the past year when they are doing their job in carrying out essential works to keep the trunk roads running safely.”

Scotland TranServ covers trunk roads in the South West of Scotland. Andy Fraser, Scotland TranServ’s Operating Company Representative said:

“More than two-thirds of our employees work on the trunk roads in the south west of Scotland every day. Their accounts of dangerous driving and the missiles thrown at them are concerning. While it is the minority of drivers who are responsible for such behaviour, it should not be tolerated in any shape or form on our trunk roads or elsewhere in our society. Our operatives are real people, with real lives and real families; families who want their dad, their husband and their son to come home safely at the end of the working day.”

Tom Wallace, Amey Account Manager for the Scottish South-East network, said:

“Amey research in 2018 demonstrated that 61% of Scottish drivers appear to be wilfully ignoring road safety measures and driving recklessly through roadworks; even though the majority of them (89%) admit that being a road worker is a hazardous occupation. 77% admitted to regularly exceeding speed limits through road works. The travelling public would not want their own family put in harm’s way, and yet road workers also have families, loved ones and others who care for them; whose lives would be devastated if they were killed or injured simply doing their job.”

RAC Road Safety Spokesman Simon Williams said: 

“Those working to fix and improve our roads deserve our respect rather than the shocking abuse many are often subjected to. Anyone who abuses road workers, either physically or verbally, should be reported to the police. We urge motorists who witness this kind of behaviour from others to remember the number plate of the offending vehicle and then to get in contact with the police.”  

Sandy Allan, Road Safety Manager for RoSPA in Scotland, said:

“Respecting the safety of those working close to ‘live traffic’ is essential. Everyone is entitled to feel and be safe on our roads and especially individuals who are more exposed than those driving. Essential works undertaken on our roads benefit all, and these cannot always be achieved without limited disruption.”

IAM Roadsmart’s Policy & Research Director, Neil Greig added:

“Roadworks may be unpopular but they are absolutely vital to ensure that our roads are kept safe and fit for purpose.  Mutual respect on our roads is essential and this must extend to those working hard to improve and repair them so we can all enjoy smooth trouble free journeys in the future.  Incidents like these just add to delays and a little patience goes a long way in reducing stress for everyone using and working on our main routes.”

Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, concluded: 

“These findings about dangerous driving and the abuse of road workers by motorists are still shocking and unacceptable, with more injuries reported in this year’s figures despite an overall decline.

“Road workers – like all of us – have the right to safe and healthy working conditions for their essential and difficult work and we urge all road-users to support them and this campaign.”

Look out for the campaign hashtag on social media - #RoadworkerSafety – to help spread the word from June 24 – July 1.

Back to news list

View Older PostsView Newer Posts

New Crossing in Corpach opened by Fort William Primary School Pupil10 May 2019

FORT WILLIAM PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPIL RECEIVES HONOUR OF OPENING NEW PUFFIN CROSSING IN CORPACH

Read more

New Crossing in Corpach opened by Fort William Primary School Pupil10 May 2019

FORT WILLIAM PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPIL RECEIVES HONOUR OF OPENING NEW PUFFIN CROSSING IN CORPACH

Six year old Katie MacSween was invited to open the new pedestrian crossing across the A830 - thanking BEAR Scotland for ‘fixing the road and making it safe for her’ 

 

A six-year-old primary school pupil from Fort William had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open a new puffin crossing in Corpach today (10 May), after being invited by trunk road operator, BEAR Scotland, to mark the occasion. 

The honour comes after Katie MacSween, a pupil at Banavie Primary School, showed great interest in the works, which started earlier this year and saw the BEAR Scotland team install a new puffin crossing to improve pedestrian safety on the A830. 

Katie waved to the workforce each day on her way to and from school. When the project was nearing completion she handed pictures and thank you notes to those carrying out the work to express her gratitude ‘for fixing the road and making it safe for her’. The pictures and notes now take pride of place in the BEAR Scotland Corpach Depot.

The BEAR Scotland team tracked Katie down through her school to thank her for her kind words and to invite her to officially open the crossing.

Katie’s mum, Emma MacSween, said: “Katie decided she wanted to do something nice for the workmen working on the road outside the Corpach Co-operative store and so a few weeks ago she drew a whole load of pictures and wrote a letter on each one thanking them for fixing the road and making it safe for her. On her way to school one morning she handed these out to those doing the work.  

“Fast forward a few weeks and Katie was asked into her head teacher’s office and found out that the BEAR Scotland team had been trying to track her down so that they could thank her and, better still, invite her to officially open the new crossing. She was absolutely ecstatic!   It’s such a nice feeling to know your daughter has managed to brighten up people’s days!”

Katie herself said: “I really enjoyed watching the new crossing getting built and enjoyed cutting the ribbon today. I can’t wait to tell all my friends about it!” 

As well as getting a chance to cut the ribbon today to mark the opening, Katie also received a polar bear teddy from the BEAR Scotland team.

Duncan Crilley, Operations Supervisor at BEAR Scotland, said: “Our teams are so used to doing works every day that will benefit the local area but we rarely get individual and heartfelt thanks in the way Katie did. It really made everyone’s day to receive such a thoughtful package of thank you notes and pictures. We were delighted that she could join us to officially open the crossing today.” 

The new signalised puffin crossing which replaced the existing uncontrolled crossing point near the Co-operative, allowing pedestrians to safely cross the A830, is part of a wider £2 million investment programme by Transport Scotland in 2018/ 2019 aimed at removing barriers to accessibility across the Scottish trunk road network.

Back to news list

View Older PostsView Newer Posts

North East Connection May 2019 newsletter - out now!06 May 2019

North East Connection May 2019 newsletter - out now!

Read more

North East Connection May 2019 newsletter - out now!06 May 2019

The latest issue of the North East Connections newsletter is out! In this issue you'll read all about the latest news from the North East Trunk Road Unit, including information about our winter service and an overview of some of the projects our teams have been working on so far this year.

To read a copy click here or download a copy via the link below.

To stay up to date with the latest news from the North East Unit follow us on twitter: @NETrunkRoads

Back to news list

View Older PostsView Newer Posts

New Rock Slope Improvement Project Completed on A82 near Loch Ness 29 Apr 2019

£500,000 Rock Slope Improvement Project Completed on A82 at Wellington Layby

Read more

New Rock Slope Improvement Project Completed on A82 near Loch Ness 29 Apr 2019

£500,000 Rock Slope Improvement Project Completed on A82 at Wellington Layby

 

A project to stabilise two sections of rock slope opposite Loch Ness at Wellington Layby on the A82, around seven miles north of Drumnadrochit, was completed last week.

The £500,000 project involved engineers carrying out extensive work to a stretch of the rock face above the A82 to help stabilise the slope and mitigate the risk of any material reaching the carriageway.

Teams worked to remove around 400 tonnes of rock from the face to scale back part of the slope, with specialists working from high ropes to install over 2,400 square metres of steel mesh over the new surface which is held in place by 320 anchors drilled into the new slope.  If the new anchors were laid end to end, they would reach over 1,200m in length.

 The project began in February with temporary traffic lights in place to protect road workers as well as motorists.  All traffic management has now been removed and the A82 reopened to both lanes. 

Commenting on the project, Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said:  “We’re pleased that the Rock Slope Improvement project at Wellington Layby is now complete, meaning that there are improved measures in place to mitigate against any rock falls reaching the A82.

“The teams have worked hard to complete this important project on time and to minimise the impact to road users throughout the work.

“We thank all road users and the local community for their patience while our teams successfully completed the project.”

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on www.trafficscotland.org, twitter at @trafficscotland or the new mobile site my.trafficscotland.org.  

Back to news list

View Older PostsView Newer Posts

North West Unit Road Improvements 2019 Programme Underway19 Apr 2019

North West Unit Road Improvements 2019 Programme Underway

Read more

North West Unit Road Improvements 2019 Programme Underway19 Apr 2019

BEAR Scotland’s new programme of planned road improvement works across the 883 miles of trunk roads in the North West Unit is now available to view in an interactive map here

 Some 149 locations are set to be addressed in the £19M resurfacing programme  that is now underway across trunk roads in the North West of Scotland.  The programme outlines locations, dates, timings and expected traffic management plans for each project.

The programme also includes footway upgrades, barrier improvements, drainage installations and any other projects designed to upgrade or improve the trunk road network.   The projects will help ensure the safety and future serviceability of the network. 

Motorists and the local community should be assured that the BEAR Scotland team will strive to carry out the programme of road improvements as quickly and as safely as possible to minimise disruption, although the programme may be subject to change through our consultation process or due to weather.

To ensure the safety of both the workforce and road users some of the works will sometimes require road closures and diversions and steps will also be taken to ensure relevant consultations are carried out and the public are kept up to date regarding all developments. 

BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland would like to thank local communities in advance for their patience and understanding throughout the implementation of these essential works.

To learn more about the 'freeze and thaw' cycle and its impact on road surfaces, visit our information page here. 

Should you require any further information about the proposed works, please do not hesitate to contact the team by email at NWConsultation@bearscotland.co.uk. 

 

If you would like to report a specific trunk road defect you can do so via Transport Scotland’s Freephone Customer Care number, 0800 028 1414 or through BEAR Scotland’s online report a defect portal.

Back to news list

View Older PostsView Newer Posts

Volunteers help keep Kinnoull Hill tidy18 Apr 2019

Volunteers work together to clear over 30 bags of rubbish from picturesque Kinnoull Hill

Read more

Volunteers help keep Kinnoull Hill tidy18 Apr 2019

Volunteers work together to clear over 30 bags of rubbish from picturesque Kinnoull Hill

 

Multiple groups of volunteers worked together to clear over 30 bags of rubbish across different areas of Kinnoull Hill in a bid to ‘spring clean’ the picturesque woodland park yesterday (Wednesday).

The litter-pick, led by the Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park Group, included volunteers from Perth Rotary Club, members of the public and volunteers from BEAR Scotland and Santander.  Litter-picking equipment was supplied by Perth and Kinross Council to help with the clear-up.  

Together a total of 34 volunteers worked throughout the day in sessions to help target different areas of the woodland park, helping to ‘spring clean’ sections most in need of attention.

Juice bottles, sandwich wrappers, coffee cups and even a Smith’s packet of crisps from the 1970s were tidied away during the day’s work, with over 30 bags of rubbish collected in total by the end of the sessions.

Iain Murray, BEAR Scotland’s Managing Director, said: “We’re pleased that we could help support the litter pick at Kinnoull Hill this week and get involved in the community in which we operate. 

“Taking care of the environment is very important to us, and hopefully our volunteers have helped to play a small role in keeping Kinnoull Hill tidy so it can be enjoyed by everyone who visits the area.”   

 

The Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park Group was established in 2001. The Group represents a wide range of users of the Park, from horse riders to orienteering groups, to walkers and cyclists.  Upcoming activities and regular information is provided on their Facebook page under ‘Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park Group’.  

Back to news list

View Older PostsView Newer Posts