17 April 2020

COVID 19 Highways Operations Update – Highway Maintenance Services – East Riding of Yorkshire Council

All planned highway safety inspections continuing. Single and 2-person inspections with staff agreement and monitoring with cab hygiene etc. External enquiries and defect reports being managed via mobile/tablets but seeing significant drop in numbers of enquiries.

Initially moved to emergency/safety inspection related works on rota for front line, generally 2 person gangs with max 2 per cab depending on cab size (crew cabs etc).

Closed up/completed a number of larger capital works for financial year end. Now trialing and will build on mechanised patching programme to ensure work can be undertaken in accordance with developed Safe System of Work. Aim is to undertake any planned works in rural areas and avoid any footway or urban/populated areas where possible.

Re-programming capital works with consideration of safe system of working. Regular contact with key suppliers to ensure awareness of requirements and continuity of supply. Planning for £2.5m in-house surface dressing programme with our supply chain in place – again rural sites only, planned start 11 May. Working with traffic management partner to return furloughed staff to work, working with bitumen supplier and spray-bar operations to ensure supply availability. Welcome proposed LCRIG publicity campaign highlighting ‘key work’. Also developing signs and leaflet holders for workers on site to advise public of need for highway maintenance as ‘key work’.

Similar flow reductions to others around 60-70% however monitors suggest an increase in mean and 85%ile speeds given the improved flows of traffic.

All staff observing 2m distancing advice and issued with safe system of work document. Reduced highway enforcement activities to safety related only. Avoiding public contact. Roadworkers trained to support refuse collection if required. Have taken bulk deliveries of deferred set tarmac and increased stock levels of bucket tarmac material. Continuing gully emptying and ‘roadmaster’ velocity patching repairs on rural routes given increase in parked vehicles due to lockdown.

Most tarmac suppliers have moved to deliveries only. Some quarries have reduced staffing which is inhibiting more specialist raw material supplies for velocity repairs, currently exploring alternative transport arrangements for material. A similar picture with builders merchants with some locally closed and others maintaining a delivery only service.

Insurance colleagues reporting rise in claims over past 2 weeks although this is not reflected by any recent shift or change in network condition.

Maintained existing terms (30 days) for suppliers. Maintaining record of lost/non productive time within trading accounts.