Apprentices play crucial role in traffic light upgrade

Posted on: March 17, 2022 at 4:02 pm

As born and bred Islanders, Dan Pearson and Jordan Power know full well how important it is that traffic can move as smoothly as possible through the Island’s busiest junction.

So the pair of Island Roads graduate apprentices were eager to rise to the challenge of being at the heart of recent work to upgrade all the traffic lights and pedestrian crossings on and around  Newport’s Coppins Bridge.

The project was a highly complex one with the necessary work split into seven phases in order to reduce disruption on what everyone knows is a particularly sensitive part of the Island’s road network.

But as part of their career development – and supported by their managers as necessary – highway electricians Dan, 22, and Jordan, 26, were given day-to-day responsibility of ensuring Island Roads work on site went to plan.

Two of the seven phases finished ahead of schedule and while the final phase was unfortunately delayed for supply chain reasons outside of their control, their bosses were left impressed by the performance of Dan and Jordan’s who are both former Cowes Enterprise College students..

“At Island Roads we are keen that our staff are able to develop their skills and what better opportunity could there be for highway electricians Dan and Jordan to get to grips with a large and complex scheme than the recent project at Coppins Bridge,” said their boss, Island Roads powered apparatus manager Scott Burborough.

“As we thought they would, they really rose to the challenge and did an excellent job. We hope the experiences they gained will help them in their future careers.

After completing apprenticeships with Island Roads, both men are now approved Highway Electricians certified by the Highway Electrical Association.

Dan said: “As Islanders we know the unique nature of Coppins Bridge and how important it is that traffic keeps moving through it. It was really important that work went to schedule and that any issues arising on the ground were quickly dealt with.

“Fortunately, with the support of Scott and our supervisor James Adsett, we were able to overcome any issues that arose and, apart from the final supply chain delay, keep the project on schedule.”

Jordan said: “The new equipment is designed to be better able to respond to changing traffic flows and pedestrian use of the new crossings so we hope the work should help to keep traffic and people moving across Coppins Bridge.

“We all know what an important junction Coppins Bridge is so we’re proud to have played our part in such an important – and highly visible – scheme.”

As well as using the latest technology to help traffic flows, the new equipment is lower voltage meaning it uses less power and is also safer. The completion of the Coppins Bridge scheme means that under the Highway PFI, every traffic signal and pedestrian crossing on the Island has now been upgraded.