According a survey by Chapter 8 Shop, a specialist in road safety, 6 out of 10 motorists hate delays as a result of roadworks and believe something needs to change. However, in contrast to this, 8 out of 10 highway maintenance workers believe motorists should stop complaining.
It is clear the two groups have different perspectives, but road workers, when asked, believe their opinion should be valued more as it is their lives at risk.
To gather the responses, a total of 143 highway maintenance workers and 694 motorists were surveyed.
The top four excuses from motorists for increasing the 50mph roadwork limit –
- Not having to leave earlier to compensate for the extra travel time
- The congestion caused is too stressful
- Lorries ignore it and end up passing me, which is frustrating
- I hardly ever see anyone working
Les Bramwell is a road worker who has first-hand experience of the dangers that people in his line of work face. In April 2016, he was left with serious injuries and believes it is a miracle he is alive. If the speed limit for motorists passing by road works was above 50mph, he could have lost his life.
“I want to highlight the dangers of our job. Something that should have been a routine task had a serious impact on my life, and that’s why it’s so important that we educate motorists about the dangers of the work we do day in, day out” Mr Bramwell shared.
Two examples of why highway maintenance workers want to keep the 50mph speed restriction in-place –
- A near-miss for two workers
A car lost control in poor driving conditions and nearly hit two road workers at approximately 42mph. Luckily, they were able to jump out of the way. If the car was driving any faster, it is likely that the workers would not have had time to move.
- An impatient driver hits a worker
In an attempt to beat traffic, an impatient motorist tried driving through a coned off area near an exit slip road. Whilst moving into the restricted area they hit a road worker causing minor injuries.They were originally travelling with the flow of traffic at 50mph and the official report states they entered the cordoned off area at this speed. Any faster and it could’ve resulted in more serious injuries for the innocent worker.
Midlands Regional Director of Highways England, Catherine Brookes said: “Nobody needs a road so badly that somebody needs to lose their life while maintaining or improving it. It is simply unacceptable that people run the risk of being killed or seriously injured while doing their job.”
Mr Saunderson, from Chapter 8 Shop, comes into contact with motorway professionals on a regular basis and hears of horror stories nearly every week and believes “more needs to be done to improve the safety standards and eliminate the concerns road workers have. Increasing the speed limit is a step in the wrong direction.”