n/a - Roadworks for gas - galileo

Our area has been blighted for the last two years by a never ending series of roadworks to replace gas mains.

Often, a hole is dug, abandoned for a fortnight, then a couple of chaps appear and work for a few hours, some weeks later its filled and the road surface re-instated.

Most of these works involve temporary lights and delays leading to congestion of varying severity.

The latest effort involves an A road which is a key access to M62, local hospital and ambulance station, not to mention bus routes etc.

Calling the responsible body yesterday, a helpful lady said she'd pass my enquiry to the site manager, who called me back and we had an interesting discussion about why these works take so long.

The gem which struck me was, I quote: "We could put fifteen men on the job instead of three, but then they'd be more likely to spend time gossiping about last night's TV, so we only have the minimum number".

He further explained that "yes, it would be better to work longer hours", but the people down the hole actually didn't work for him but for contractors, on a 7.30 to 4.30 basis.

Remember the city centre sinkhole in Japan fixed in a matter of days? We could do with that approach with all our roadworks.

n/a - Roadworks for gas - oldroverboy.

But, did he say that they only had 3 shovels, so what with cutbacks, the men would have to lean on each other...

Or that he gave them 3 shovels and said "take your pick" and confused them.

Hopefully none of them smoke on the job!

n/a - Roadworks for gas - bolt

A lot of gas works around central Bromley that as mentioned hardly any actual work going on, and when anyone is on site, they spend ages talking

Biggest problem I have come across is when the lights either stop working, or no one takes any notice of them which often happens....rather frustrating when you need to get through quick, not that the red light jumpers care

I gather we have to look forward to years of gas pipe replacement, if going over to electric cars they could install extra new mains cables to cope with demand while they`re at it ;)

Edited by bolt on 17/08/2017 at 00:27

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Ethan Edwards

Mains gas works near me ...18 weeks. Never see anyone actually doing anything when I pass by.

18 weeks...smh

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Dogfuzz

It's formally called "inter-agency working"....the road digging guys(1) start when the highway folk (2) have finished doing their cones and the traffic management(3) geezers have installed nicely inconvenient and unnecessarily long lights. Then ,after the roads have been drilled and dug, the gas people arrive(4) . Doubtless there are several gas special;ists invloved here with each having their work tested by an off site supervisor -who is marking progress and inspecting as and when it is convenient for him.

Most site work begins at 08.00 and finshes at 16.00. In reality this means an arrival time of around 07.35 and a clear up by 15.15. No work during any kind of unusual weather, none at weekends of course and absolutely no circumstances permit nightwork unless an emergency is evident .

n/a - Roadworks for gas - tourantass
The local council here in cheshire, have closed a road for two weeks upto now, so they can replace 100 mtrs of kerb and tarmac over the grass verge, in all about three days work from my expierience, i have also complained in writing three times re a footpath bieng unpasable because of overgrowing hedges and trees, the state of our roads hedges verges etc is embarasing as is the slow progress of any maintenence....this council is on its a***.
n/a - Roadworks for gas - sandy56

In my part of Norfolk we are plagued with roadworks for new fibre broadband. Its been going on for months.

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Bromptonaut

In my part of Norfolk we are plagued with roadworks for new fibre broadband. Its been going on for months.

Same in Northants or at least it looks like that; plastic conduit buried in verge. Where verge too narrow it's under road and crosses road on couple of occasions. Sequence is dig trench, lay conduit with brick lined access pits every few hundred meters and backfill. Second team follow pulling through the fibre optic cable.

Workforce need to be protected so single alternate working with temp lights, 4 way at cross-roads. They clear up at end of shift and return road to normal two way working.

Can only progress 200 or so yards a day so even with two or three teams/sites covering a four mile stretch takes a while.

Frustrating but difficult to see how they could do better and we really do need cable, ADSL won't cut the mustard for intensive use.

n/a - Roadworks for gas - argybargy

Recently, there have been two seperate instances of substantial roadworks taking place on the highway that allows us access to our close. The one creates nothing worse than a rather tedious diversion, the other (now finished) involved asking men with shovels and at the helm of roadrollers to temporarily move cones, barriers and stuff so we could get out and go about our business, or go home to our houses.

On no occasion were any of these guys anything but good humoured and obliging, and the work appears to have been completed in double quick time, so I feel lucky when hearing of experiences elsewhere.

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Wackyracer

When I was on general haulage I spent some time moving those big concrete blocks that they use on motorways during roadworks, we would be given a time to be there and mostly you'd arrive and be waiting for the roadwork men to turn up to load them on. If my memory serves me right, I don't think they ever stayed on site for longer than 2 - 3 hours before all getting back in the minibus and going. When I asked one of them he said their shift starts and finishes at their depot so most of their paid day was spent going to and from the site in the minibus.

On a completely different contrast, last year our home electricity supply failed (underground cable corroded). The cable only supplied our home but, from calling them at 11am a man arrived to double check that there really was a problem on the supply, then another 2 men came to try and find the fault and diagnosed the cable being broken under the edge of the road. by 6pm we had a team of about 12 men and a digger. by 12pm the cable was repaired and they even fitted a TN-S earth connection at the same time. The holes were all filled in within a couple of days including repairing my drive and re seeding the lawn.

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Snakey

They are building a small new estate (less than 50 homes) on a road near me. Since this started in November last year there have been temporary traffic lights on that road for at least 16 occasions (probably more but I only thought to count after the first 3 or 4!)

This has been mainly for gas and water, but also several times to repair the safety fence outside a school that some m**** delivery driver has crushed as they reverse into the site.

Nice joined up thinking!

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Andrew-T
<<... i have also complained in writing three times re a footpath bieng unpasable because of overgrowing hedges and trees, the state of our roads hedges verges etc is embarasing as is the slow progress of any maintenence....this council is on its a***. >>

Not only that, so many roadsigns are either pale green with algae, or disappearing into expanding foliage. Maybe councils are waiting until growth has stopped before doing anything?

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Engineer Andy

One of the many problems we have as a nation is that, whilst we are world-renowned for problem-solving and creativity, we are equally 'great' at bureaucracy and waste - mostly solving great problems we created by our incompetence in the first place. We are, these days at least, useless at organisation, efficient use of resources and teamwork, and include politics and corner-cutting within the workplace then you get a wonderful mix of anti-competitive practices.

Not that long ago, I left my job, and hopefully my career in Construction - it has all the wonderful 'qualities' I described above, and one of the reasons why I decided to jack it in. Remember that 'Heineken' advert about a road works crew wondering whether they can do lot of different jobs at the same time to make things easier - we all laughed when it was on, but like a lot of funny things, its perfectly true.

Of course, as regards road work, it doesn't help that councils spend diddly-squat on the supervision and planning of such work - its bad enough that they put up way too many road humps, signs and other street furniture, but then, as others have described don't have the money to maintain them effectively, but many are poorly designed, installed in an inappropriate place (signs and drains in particular) and the timing, length and quality of road repairs mostly causes huge traffic jams.

How often have you see a utility firm wait ages to repair a major fault such as a water main or power fault (the street lights weren't working for over 6 months, and the council can't legally do anything to push them to fix it), and the road works as described either take ages because of the delays between stages or not enough/lazy operatives, or the do a p**s poor job and have to come back again (quite common), or do so JUST AFTER the local council has spent £000ks on properly resufacing the road, thus introducing areas where the road can easily break up quaickly in poor weather and wasting council money both at the original replacement and subsequent repairs, which have to be undertaken sooner than can be afforded.

n/a - Roadworks for gas - Andrew-T

I am sure we all recognise the symptoms and events described by Andy, but ironically he also illustrates another activity at which the British excel - moaning at how others do (or don't do) their jobs. Not necessarily saying how those jobs might be done better, but sometimes that too. As suggested, many are victims of complex, rigid or inappropriate over-organisation.

Unfortunately situations often become intolerable for some who are doing their job well, and they choose to retire early - I'm thinking of teachers and NHS staff as examples. That exacerbates the position, as those who remain may well be the ones causing the mess. Ideally the good performers, recognising the problems, should stay put and sort them out, but I guess they decide that is impossible and give up.


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