Bristol City Council and utility companies* are joining forces to ease the frustrations of essential road, footpath and utility maintenance. A range of ‘Active Roadworks’ measures are being introduced in the new year to provide people with up to date information about progress at each set of roadworks.
Each year around 40,000 roadworks take place in the city, so the council and utilities companies already jointly plan road improvements and essential pipeline maintenance to ensure they work in sequence. This is done to minimise the time roadworks are in place at individual sites.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol is changing quickly and that means that there are often roadworks taking place, which can be an inconvenience for both drivers and people using the footpaths. The idea behind Active Roadworks is to make sure roadworks are as efficient as possible and information about what’s going on is easily available.”
A voluntary agreement between the council and utilities companies currently exists to help ease congestion and reduce the impact of essential roadworks and network maintenance. The agreement, known as the Streetworks Code of Conduct, has now been updated to reflect the new Active Roadworks measures.
• Updating boards at each roadwork site to provide information about what is happening, even when no-one is present on site.
• Improving engagement with the public and local businesses to alert them to upcoming roadworks.
• Increasing collaboration between the council and utilities companies to minimise the amount of time roadworks are in place.
• Ensuring roadwork sites are as efficient as possible.
• Investigating other innovative ways to keep people up to date about roadworks.
Mhairi Threlfall, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity said: “Our road and utility networks are regularly updated and improved, so roadworks are something that all road and footpath users experience from time to time. We know they can be an annoyance, particularly when it looks like there is no work taking place.
“However, there may be valid reasons for these idle roadworks such as new mains being pressure tested or concrete curing to achieve strength prior to opening to traffic. In the case of new mains being laid, it can also be the case that road workers are operating on an adjacent part of the project. These works may be essential, but clearer communication is key and our Active Roadworks measures are designed to provide up to date information about what is happening at each site including when they are active and when they will be completed, which will take away some of the day-to-day irritation of roadworks.”
The council is also looking at ways for road users to report idle roadworks and aims to have these new measures in place early next year.