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Thread: Phantom Roadworks

  1. #1
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    Default Phantom Roadworks

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8309528.stm

    55% of motorists said when they come across a lane closure and roadworks, no work is being done.

    I can certainly count myself in with these 55%! It's understandable that in the middle of the night there may not be workmen around, but I find most of the time when I pass a lane closure at 3 in the afternoon there is not a single workman or piece of machinery in sight, there is no excuse for it.

    In Spain they do almost all roadworks at night and reopen the roads in the day, I think that's a great way of doing it to minimise disruption.

  2. #2
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    I think it is due to the "jobsworth system". A separate gang of men come along to set up the roadwork barriers, etc., and to take them down afterwards. The delays either side of the work actually being carried out can be significantly long.

    I have occasionally felt that the barriers set up are excessively spread out from the spot where work is being done. Then I have cnsidered the workmen having to operate in close proximity to moving traffic which, when considering some of the crazy drivers on the road, brings me to the conclusion that the men need all the protective space they can reasonably cordon off.

  3. #3
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    It’s more than “jobs worth” the road work signs, cones, maintenance and design are all by a separate company. These companies should be subject to a hefty fine if the phantom road works is left over say a 2 hour limit.

  4. #4
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    Quote.. "In Spain they do almost all roadworks at night and reopen the roads in the day, I think that's a great way of doing it to minimise disruption. "

    No! we couldn't have that at all, that would mean using common sense, and that sort of thing is just not allowed old boy,.. not cricket at all

  5. #5
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    We cannot be taking lessons from Johnny foreigner. Anyway, think how convenient it would be for the public at large, no no we can’t have that.

  6. #6
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    Last year, returning along the main Brittany to Cherbourg road, they were laying a new central reservation wall. A special machine, followed by a concrete wagon, was building a continual wall about a metre or so high.

    The French seem very keen on building bridges and bypasses, and "route barre" frequently crops up.

  7. #7
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    I work in a motorway control room, and can tell you that the majority of roadworks are done overnight, in our area alone we put on approx 3 dozen sets of roadworks every night. these can be for a mulitude of reasons, resurfacing, cleaning out drains (common this time of year) barrier repairs (every one that gets bent needs replacing) overhead lights, grass cutting, you name it, it gets done overnight mainly. The contractors will usually sort it so that a number of things gets done in the one closure, rather than a separate closure for each job.
    The big jobs will stay on 24 hours, at the moment we have 3 different sets of contra-flow, with others in the pipeline once these are completed. You may find no-one working inside the cones, they could be underneather a bridge, or on shift change.

    There is a proceedure for setting up roadworks. As has already been said, there is a Traffic Management crew (TM) that puts out the cones & signs etc, then there's the guys that do the actual job. The TM crew could put out 4/5 sets of cones in a night.

    Nightime roadworks usually start st 9pm, or thereabouts.
    The TM team leader will call us for the overhead electronic signals to be set, we'll ask him if he's actually in place ready to put the physical closure on.
    There are a number of things we have to do with the signals, but we would have them set for him within a couple of minutes.
    Most of the time, we can't see him putting these roadworks on, (most of the time, we're too bloody busy to look! imagine, 36 sets of roadworks, usually within the hour between 9-10pm with 4 of us to do it!))
    Once he's got the cones and hard signs in place, he calls us up, and we switch off the electronic signals.
    When the work is complete for the night,and he's ready to remove the cones etc, he calls us back, and we reset the electronic signals again.
    When he's got all his signage and cones in, then he calls us back once more for us to switch off the signals.
    There can be delays in when the electronic sigs are showing and there's no actual lanes closed, this can be just prior to them starting to put the cones out, or alternatively, when they've cleared the cones, but are still removing the hard signage.
    Should the TM team leader "forget" to call to have the signs cleared, and either a HATO or police patrol notice them still set with nothing there, that team leader will get his "fortune" read for him.
    If roadowkrs go "over-time" then we call the team leader to find out what the problem is.
    Last edited by Biffo; 21-10-09 at 22:43.

  8. #8
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    Very interesting Biffo. I am fascinated how different jobs create different worlds.

  9. #9
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    I recently drove to Nottingham since my girlfriend has just moved to uni there. I went down at night after work to maximise the amount of time we would have together. And found that there were ALOT of roadworks.
    At times you would come off at a junction and be taken on a detour down some little roads to the next junction and back on the way. I cant say that there were not all phantom but in the speed restricted zones there were very few actual people working. There was some re-surfacing going on in places.
    I do not mind the roadworks however my main gripe was that several times the diversion signs were diabolical. They were none existint! I had to rely on my sat nav at times re-routing itself accordingly.

  10. #10
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    The problem is that unless a diversion route has been agreed with all the local agencies, ie Police, council, and the company who are doing the work (because they would have to erect "diversion" signs at EVERY junction, until you were back on the same road again)
    A diversion route for small amounts of night-time closures (I mean only for 1 or 2 nights say) just isn't practical.
    Sorting out a diversion route also is a problem, you can't post a diversion route unless it's capable of handling all the traffic sent down it.
    A diversion route has to be managed, in as much as it has to be driven prior to implimenting, to make sure all signs are in place, and there's nothing unknown blocking the route.

    So, as you can see, it's much more easy not to set up a diversion route in the first place for a short period roadworks, and let driver use A) Local knowledge. B) Satnav. C) Map book.

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