Sheffield road workers put at risk by motorists ignoring closure signs

Concerns have been voiced over the number of road workers involved in near misses with motorists ignoring closure signs in Sheffield.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 12:07 pm
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 2:21 pm

Last week, a road worker on the Streets Ahead road resurfacing and maintenance programme in Sheffield was involved in a near miss with a car during a police chase in Sheffield.

A pursuit was mounted when a car failed to stop for officers in Darnall and a road worker was almost hit as the wanted driver tried to evade arrest.

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Darren Butt, the Streets Ahead account director

The car finally came to a halt when it struck a central reservation barrier and lost a tyre on Greenland Road.

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But Darren Butt, the Streets Ahead account director, said near misses are a regular occurrence.

He said incidents are regularly reported to South Yorkshire Police and a meeting with the force is planned to discuss the growing issue.

Since 2012, over 855 miles of road and 1,691 miles of pavement have been resurfaced across the city as part of the £2 billion Streets Ahead programme.

But Mr Butt said disgruntled motorists fed up with streets being closed are ignoring signs and road workers and ploughing through roadworks, putting lives at risk.

He has issued a plea to motorists to think twice about the consequences of their actions.

“We have a significant programme of resurfacing going on across the city and we are closing roads for the safety of our staff and the travelling public.

“There’s good reason for it. We have people working in the highway, machinery and plant, we are removing the road surface – making it unsuitable for vehicles – and there are members of the public on the pavements.

“But we are finding more and more people ignoring road signs and diversions and trying to find their own way through roadworks.”

He added: “They ignore staff at entrances to roadworks, they often go on verges and around vehicles and speed is a concern. Potentially they are going to hit one of my members of staff or the public.”

Mr Butt said nobody has been seriously injured yet but there have been many ‘very, very close calls’.

“It has been luck, not the skill of drivers, that my staff are narrowly avoiding being seriously hurt. It is also putting members of the public at risk as well,” he said.

“We are reporting this to South Yorkshire Police when it happens and they are taking it seriously.

“We will be meeting shortly to look at what further action can be taken.”

In a plea to Sheffield motorists, he said: “We all have busy lives but it is not worth taking the risk and hitting someone – potentially fatally or causing serious injury. Nobody wants that on their conscience.”

South Yorkshire Police has been approached for a statement on the issue.