Road workers punched, threatened and driven into in Sheffield

Road workers have been punched, threatened and driven into by motorists angry at road closures in Sheffield.

Friday, 25th November 2016, 09:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:40 am
Amey workers have been attacked, threatened and driven at in Sheffield

Amey, the firm carrying out a city-wide road improvement scheme, is using Road Safety Week, which runs until Sunday, to urge motorists to think about their behaviour.

Bosses said all incidents are reported to South Yorkshire Police and action will be taken against those who fail to take notice of road closures or abuse or attack road workers.

An Amey spokesman said: "The safety of its staff is Amey’s number one priority but sadly employees of Amey and companies in Amey’s supply chain, have to face almost daily abuse from drivers who are angry at having to wait a couple of extra minutes at roadworks.

"Added to this are the drivers who speed or drive recklessly through roadworks - it’s easy to see why the roadside is one of the most dangerous places to work in the UK.

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"In Sheffield, road workers have been physically punched, the victim of verbal abuse and even driven into by vehicles - for simply trying to do their job and improve the condition of the city’s roads as part of the Streets Ahead partnership with Sheffield City Council."

Carl Padgett, a supervisor for a carriageway resurfacing team, working on the city’s roads, said he has been threatened by motorists caught up in road closures.

“We are just doing our best to do our job but sometimes we do become the focus of people’s anger and frustration and it’s unacceptable," he said.

"We try to be as accommodating and as helpful as possible and we do understand that in some circumstances we will have to allow access and if possible we will. But we do need to get on with our job, just like anybody else across the city.

“We would like the public to see the improvements that we are making across the city, rather than the temporary disruption caused by a road closure, and to think twice before they act unreasonably around round workers and road closures. We will be reporting incidents to the police and they will be taking follow-up action.”

Rob Allen, Amey’s Business Director in Sheffield, said: “Working on the roads is a dangerous environment anyway, but mixed with abuse from the public and careless driving this is made even worse and we will not tolerate this.

"Nobody should have to suffer this kind of abuse when doing their job. We are working closely with the police to send a message out to anyone who thinks about threatening our workforce that it is not worth it, we are working closely with South Yorkshire Police and reporting all incidents.

“We understand that roadworks can be frustrating for motorists and the general public, but the signs and road closures are not there to try and delay people, they are vital to keeping our staff safe whilst we carry out much needed road upgrades.”