Disruption caused by roadworks in Lincolnshire will be reduced by a new scheme, the county council says. Lincolnshire County Council and its contractors are compiling a street works charter, with the aim of cutting down on how long roads are closed.
It will also tackle the number of times different companies carry out work in the same spot. Cllr Martin Hill, the leader of the county council, said: “For too long, the people of Lincolnshire have seen road closures where perhaps the road didn’t need to be closed, or traffic restrictions left up when they could have been removed between working shifts to free up traffic flow.
“How many times have we all seen a road dug up for some reason only to have it dug up again in the same area weeks later when another company has other parts of its works programme to carry out?
“We’ve been working at smarter planning and improved relationships with utility companies for some time and things have been improving. The charter is the next step in bringing us all together to better that improvement even further and this is something I am delighted that we, as the highways authority, have now been able to do.”
Jonathan Evans, the head of client and contractual management at the council, said it will mean less disruption. He said: “Working collaboratively between these partners will mean that the travelling public will see less of us, and that’s ultimately what we’re trying to do here.”
The charter launched on September 1. It was broken down into several key aims. These include minimising disruption by maintaining road network availability, prioritising resources with works that are likely to cause great er disruption, and carrying out emergency work immediately and urgently.
In an attempt to tackle congestion, the council will aim to open up roads for traffic when crews are not on-site or when traffic management is no longer required for safety. The authority will also look to communicate with ‘all stakeholders’ about the nature and duration of major roadworks, including details about working hours, the planned end date, and methods of supporting vulnerable people.
Lincolnshire County Council’s street works charter
1: Ensure Highway Network Availability
Minimise disruption by taking reasonable measures to maintain the road network availability. Work with the Highway Authority, Partners, Contractors and other Utility Companies wherever possible.
2: Prioritisation of Work
Prioritise resources with traffic management and works likely to cause greater disruption on the roads network where possible to minimise disruption to the most used roads.
3: Collaborative and Cooperative Approach
Establish a successful culture across all partners that develops positive, creative and innovative working relationships that share intelligence and collaborate.
4: Immediate Urgent and Emergency Work
When viable, coordinate urgent works with the Highway Authority to ensure disruption is minimised.
5: Traffic Management
Minimise traffic congestion by effectively assessing traffic management methods in the planning stage. Open the road for traffic as soon as possible where a site is unattended or where traffic management is no longer required for site safety.
Commit to reducing road closures, where reasonably practicable.
6: Ensure Health and Wellbeing of the Workforce and the Public
Contribute to and improve the health, safety and welfare for the workforce and the population in Lincolnshire as a whole. Maintaining safe and accessible routes for pedestrians and cyclists and ensuring that vulnerable groups are not unduly affected by the works.
7: Create Thriving Environments
It is recognised that street works are necessary and important to maintain vital services, enable development and improve infrastructure. Work together to protect, enhance and balance environmental and social needs through cooperation and intelligence sharing. Ensure communities are connected and resilient.
8: Protection of the Highway Asset
Complete ‘right first-time’ road reinstatements and ensure identified defects are corrected to reduce the need for a return visit to the same location.
Provide effective, clear and reliable public information about works activity. For major planned works we will share details with all stakeholders regarding the nature and duration of works, traffic management, support for vulnerable groups, planned end date, working hours, points of contact and frequently asked questions.
Continually improve how works are carried out in the highway by sharing new techniques, ideas and product information to foster collaborative working and protect the highway asset. The county council commits to undertaking trials of new materials and practices.