Covid-19 Road and Street works Bulletin 002
Due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, further discussions with the DfT and HAUC England, JAG(UK) and SWUK have taken place and we have set out below an advised method for prioritising defects.
Whilst the Covid 19 pandemic continues with social distancing and restrictions on movement, all non-urgent defects should be put on “hold” such that no Joint Site Meetings (JSMs) are requested at this time.
Once the social restrictions on movement and distancing are lifted all practitioners will be under pressure to resume their normal operational processes and this in itself will create issues for the industry to manage.
It is anticipated that a gradual catch-up period will be needed, and we will all need to be reasonable and flexible in managing this transition.
It is therefore recommended that …
ALL Defects assessed as “Causing Danger” – business as usual as per the inspections CoP where possible (please note in some cases, normal landlines used for the logged phone call will not be working), therefore log on EToN or Street Manager as normal ensuring photographic evidence of the defect is attached or e-mailed and use existing Utility/HA contact lists as appropriate (the defect can then be discussed over the phone rather than a JSM, and the shortcomings noted on the failed inspection). It is vital that the works promoter acknowledges acceptance or rejection of the defect.
ALL Defects assessed as “Non-Dangerous” – serve on EToN or Street Manager as normal BUT stating that “NO JSM is needed and no rectifications required at this point as all non-urgent works are to be put on hold until social restrictions are lifted and a reasonable time given to resume business as usual; no further inspections to be carried out until this time” Utilities should acknowledge and provide feedback upon agreeing the defect and monitor its condition, and if deterioration occurs contact the HA to advise of any essential remedial works.
We should also consider that, due to some aggregate and other facilities closing temporarily , alternative but suitable re-instatement materials may be required as like-for-like material matching becomes impractical.
In these circumstances, we suggest an interim registration is submitted stating “interim due to covid19 plant shutdowns” and that the need for a future site meeting is noted, to decide if remedial works are necessary or if the alternative material used is fit for purpose and can remain in-situ.
Procurement of both bound and unbound material is becoming an issue and this is likely to mean that we will see an increase in interim materials. It will be difficult for blanket agreements to be implemented as supplies will vary region by region. What is important is communication and coming to a common sense view where correct material cannot be sourced. Texture depth and skid resistance are still as important in making such considerations. If available, for example, HRA can be used in most carriageway scenarios other than SMA, this is something that could be relaxed as the material used is of a higher quality than that expected within the SROH. If 6mm AC is available for footways then other materials should be agreed, as an interim or permanent solution, to be decided on a case by case basis.
It is important that operatives follow Public Health England’s guidelines when working on site and that their employers continue to ensure that the advice is followed. This is not only in the best interest of the operatives, but also the general public.
Reasonable consideration should also be given to how pedestrians can walk past sites and observe the social distancing rules.
Please also note that the Scottish and Welsh Governments are issuing their own advice. Links will be provided when this is available.
Peter Loft and David Latham
Joint Chairs HAUC England
Agreed by all parties including the DfT, HAUC UK, JAG, Street Works UK and DCMS