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Council condemns abuse on road workers after two serious incidents




Two serious incidents of abuse on road workers maintaining Luton’s road network has led to the council and its contractor, VolkerHighways, reinforcing their condemnation of abuse on anyone that works on the public highway.

In one incident that took place in Dallow Road, road workers and traffic management operatives were verbally abused and threatened by several members of the public who wanted to get through a road closure, leaving them feeling ‘unsafe and on-edge’ during the incidents.


Elsewhere, in Oakley Road another worker was threatened by a member of the public who wanted to get through another closure to their house. They then proceeded to attempt to run over an operative and refused to move their car until the individual was let through.


There were also separate incidents across Luton, when several traffic management operatives were abused when tasked to close specific roads to allow them to be worked on.


Their job was to keep traffic flowing safely with as little disruption as possible, while informing residents and road users the reason for the road closer and which alternative routes to take to carry on with their journeys.


One worker was spat at, while another was threatened with a spanner by a member of the public who was unhappy about not being able to take their usual route home.


The council wants to remind motorists that roadworks, although frustrating at times, are there to improve the road network for the people of Luton and those travelling through it.


It plans and coordinates work in advance as much as possible, informing residents when this is taking place, but occasionally emergency works need to take place which means this is not always possible.

The council understands you might be annoyed by this at times too, but please don’t take it out on its hardworking team of roadworkers-who are just doing their jobs.


Cllr Javed Hussain, portfolio holder for sustainable development and highways at Luton Council said: “Abuse of road workers has to stop. The public rightly expect their road network kept up to standard but as a result they have to be patient and treat our workers with respect, the same way they would expect to be treated in their own jobs. This year, we have treated over 200,00 sq metres of roads to help create safer, more smooth journeys for the people of Luton.


“We need to remember that every day somebody’s father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother is put to work on the public highway and abusing them is wholly unacceptable.”


Kevin Robinson, The Founder of Stamp it out said: “Road worker abuse is a growing problem on both the local and strategic road networks in the UK, affecting the physical and mental health and wellbeing of road workers on an alarmingly regular basis. Incidents are becoming increasingly severe, involving knives, shotguns and crossbows being pulled on workers as they go about their daily tasks.

I believe this is wholly unacceptable and want to see abuse of all kinds whether verbal or physical, eliminated completely on all road networks and indeed on the wider transport networks.”

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