Covid-19 Road and Street works Bulletin 003: Restrictions
Due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, further discussions between DfT, HAUC England, JAG(UK) and SWUK have taken place and we have set out below advice on restrictions, for example, traffic sensitivity, working times, etc, both relaxation and strengthening.
Whilst the Covid 19 pandemic continues, traffic on many routes will be significantly lighter and may present opportunities to work at locations that would be very challenging in normal times. However, there are other locations and routes, such as those to and between hospitals, those to and between food and medical supply distribution depots and testing facilities that are very significant in the part they play in fighting the Covid-19 virus and its consequences.
It is therefore recommended that;
Where restrictions can be relaxed which would present opportunities to complete work at difficult locations, this should be discussed on a site by site basis between the Highway Authority (HA) and the work promoter. Either the promoter or the HA can initiate these discussions, but it will be for the promoter to assess and ensure that their workforce (including supply chain etc.) are able to undertake the works to completion where requested by the HA.
It should also be remembered that works and services to facilitate security of supply and access to critical places (e.g. hospitals etc.) may need to be expedited and normal restrictions relaxed. This may include S58 restrictions.
Of significant importance are those locations where restrictions need to be strengthened and, whilst they are not all obvious, they may include [this is not an exhaustive list];
- Routes to and between hospitals including the temporary Nightingale hospitals.
- Routes to and between food and medical supply depots and their supply sources. Some of these may be new as the army are commandeering vacated premises to set up distribution depots.
- Routes to testing facilities and laboratories.
- Routes to manufacturers of medical equipment.
- Routes and roads needed for temporary infrastructure construction works to support significant additional loading on local utility networks.
As noted above, this is not an exhaustive list but illustrates the type of premises critical to fighting the virus and its consequences. It is vital, therefore, that constructive communications are maintained between Highway Authority, promoter, and their contractors and the appropriate decisions made. It is important that all requests are appropriate to the circumstances.
Please remember to carry out usual checks and inform the local Environmental Health Officer.
We should also be mindful that some schools might still be open for key workers needing support.
Finally, a reminder to ensure all that can possibly be done is done to continue with social distancing in line with guidance from Public Health England both for our work force and the public.
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