Key highways workers have been praised for their efforts in helping other key workers, including those in the NHS and social care, to deliver their essential services efficiently.
North Yorkshire County Council and its highways contractors, including main contractor Ringway, are continuing to deliver roads maintenance during the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure that others who need to travel to provide crucial services or deliver vital food and other supplies can do so with confidence.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:
There is no question that by keeping the county’s roads in good repair our highways workers are providing an essential service and they should be proud of their contribution.
It is vital that the network remains safe. While, quite rightly, far fewer of us are travelling, it is important that the standard of our roads is maintained. NHS staff, social care workers, teachers, delivery drivers and others providing essential services at this very difficult time do not need the extra burden of worrying about the condition of the roads or footways they need to travel. The fact that traffic levels on our roads are reduced to a minimum means that our repair work can be carried out quickly, efficiently and with little or no disruption.
The County Council takes very seriously Government guidance around social distancing and the need for workers to stay safe.
Government guidance following the announcement of further social distancing restrictions last month is that construction, including street and road works, should continue where it can be undertaken in accordance with Public Health England and industry guidance. Travel permitted for work includes construction workers operating on site.
Cllr Mackenzie added:
We take the safety of our employees and contractors very seriously and are observing the guidance on social distancing.
Since the current Government restrictions were introduced on 23 March, North Yorkshire’s highways service has received more than 500 service requests from customers and highways officers and contractors have repaired almost 800 defects on the county’s highways network.
Alongside this ongoing work, the County Council intends to begin its annual surface dressing programme as soon as possible in the weeks after Easter. Each year, this programme runs through the summer and extends the life of hundreds of miles of the county’s roads that could otherwise be more susceptible to damage during the winter months. This year’s schedule is being reviewed to focus initially on rural roads where the locations facilitate social distancing more easily.
Cllr Mackenzie said:
All of this work contributes to the safe, efficient operation of the highways network so other key workers can do what they need to do.