Delivering essential services…

27 Oct

May Gurney have been mending a leaking water main on Newbury Road in Ipswich today which is exactly what they say they do on their website: ‘Delivering the Essential Services for Everyday Life’. Who can complain about that? See if you can spot the problem. Answers below:

Not so clever

In the first picture notice: a) A nice helpful red ‘pedestrians this way’ sign showing people how to access the nice protected walkway along the road. Nothing wrong there and all super safe. However… notice b) a triangular ‘road works’ sign on the pavement blocking the pavement before one gets to the nice pedestrian sign. Then notice c) That this is a dead end road – it would be impossible for anyone in a car to read the nice helpful road works warning sign. Now notice d) That there are two more signs blocking the pavement on the other side of the road. Personally I think a pavement is an essential service and I am sure they do too really.

When I first went past the workmen were there. I asked them to move the signs but they said they couldn’t. I returned later when they had left and the signs were still in the same position. A bit later I noticed that they had all been packed away neatly.

Excess signage seem to have gone

The excess signs are now safely stowed where they can cause no harm

Here is a view from the other direction

Now you see them

Now you don’t!

This isn’t the only problem we have had on Newbury road. Check out this earlier post about the same issue and the one about the vans parked on the pavement on the same road. I have also blogged about the new rules about not blocking dropped kerbs Of course those regulations don’t apply to ‘safety’ signage? Funny old world.

Is it really the law that they must block the pavement even when it is patently daft? I am going to email them now with a link to this blog and ask them. I will let you know what they say.


May Gurney have just written a very helpful reply which confirms that these companies appear to be required to lay out signage in this way as covered in my more recent post. I will take a look at the legislation mentioned in their response (below) and do anyone post in due course. Good on May Gurney for responding to us!

Here is what they say:

“Thank you for your recent communication regarding the use and positioning of temporary road signs.

“Firstly, may I assure you that the safety of both our workforce and that of other highway users is of paramount importance in any work that May Gurney carry out.

“To address your question regarding the legislation covering these type of works, we are bound by Section 65 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and Section 174 of the Highways Act 1980.

“I note from your blog that you are aware that positioning of the signs is dictated by reference to the Safety at Street Works and Road Works manual.

Update 2

I subsequent discovered that on no account should road works signage be positioned in such a way as to reduce the width of the footway to less than 1 meter (preferably not less that 1.5 meters). I didn’t measure the width remaining for these signs but it looks less than 1 meter to me.

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