Updated 18 May 2020:
We recognise these remain unprecedented times and very difficult for everyone.
As always, safety remains our absolute priority and we continue to take our responsibilities to managing the effects of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak very seriously.
Over the last seven weeks we have continued to carry out our work to ensure the roads and surrounding areas are properly maintained so that the key people who need to get to work, especially our NHS staff and emergency services, are able to do so without delay or increased road risk.
Our employees, defined as key workers by the Government, have also continued to undertake a critical role for the Island by keeping the highway network safe and free flowing – carrying out important tasks such as repairing road defects, keeping the streets clean and bins emptied, cutting the grass so that it does not reduce visibility and keeping the traffic signals and streetlights working. We have also continued to deliver other maintenance and improvement tasks as these all contribute to a safer network for vehicles and pedestrians.
Our work falls within the construction sector where government advice is to continue with these activities. We have followed this advice and have adapted all our activities to comply with Public Health England Guidelines.
We have separated our operational crews into two shifts and have staggered the start times to help keep our teams separate. We are now also operating with only one person in each vehicle for 99% of our activities and have sourced additional vans to make this happen. We are helping our crews with safety equipment and providing guidance and support on hygiene standards and staff will, at all times, have access to all required construction industry PPE. We have also set clear requirements on distancing from work colleagues and it is expected that this advice will be complied with for all but a limited number of activities where this may not be achievable.
As a result of all the above, the public may see our services being undertaken at different times – typically earlier or later in the day. This also gives us time between shifts for additional vehicle cleaning. We have sought to minimise noise at these times in particular and while we apologise for any disturbance these temporary new measures may cause, we are sure people understand this new way of working is in the interests of maintaining both the safety of our workforce and the community.
We have now also started work to improve skid resistance at key sites (including approaches to pedestrian crossings, at roundabouts, bus lanes and traffic signals) across the Island using crews of two and we are looking to resume our resurfacing activities from the 26th May. All staff having undergone the necessary training to help them work in accordance with latest Government advice.
We are also continuing to work with our contractors on the St Mary’s Junction Improvement scheme in line with current government advice to keep construction sites progressing where possible. We are also mindful of the impact the project has, under usual circumstances, on many people’s journeys every day and so we are keen to continue to deliver this in line with the agreed timetable.
While the information above outlines the current situation, there remains a risk that in the coming days and weeks, our staff become unavailable either through sickness, through self-isolation or because they have caring duties. We have therefore undertaken contingency planning with our partners and supply chain to ensure we have the required staff and resources to undertake our responsibilities.
To assist us with managing any necessary highway reports, we would also encourage you to make use of our online reporting facilities. These can be found via the yellow button in the top right hand corner of our website homepage www.islandroads.com or via this direct link https://fms.islandroads.com/ Alternatively you can email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are still taking highway related calls via our normal phone number 01983 822440. This team also deals with any contact and responses relating to highway emergencies, so we would encourage people not to make contact for items that are non-essential or low priority.
We continue to keep a close eye on the advice from the Government and our management team are regularly evolving our daily delivery approach to stay aligned with this continually changing situation.
In accordance with Government recommendations, we have also chosen to share publicly our Covid-19 Risk Assessments. You can view these using the following links:
We will continue to keep our website updated with the latest relevant information.
We appreciate your support and understanding during these times and hope you all keep safe and well.