West Sussex County Council has said it is disappointed that a number of its staff have reported that they have received abuse from members of the public whilst completing essential work on the highway network.
The council said it understands the frustration that some members of the public have regarding the condition of the county’s roads but says that it is unacceptable for its staff to receive abuse whilst they are working hard to rectify the unprecedented number of issues that have been reported.
The teams completing the works are hard-working people who are undertaking their job the same as any other professional and should not be abused whilst at work. The council does not accept members of their staff and contractors receiving abuse and asks the question: “How would members of the public feel if they were to receive abuse whilst at work?”
Cllr Joy Dennis, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We are very aware of the issues with the conditions of some of the county’s roads and we have introduced a number of measures to speed up resolution, including the introduction of ‘find & fix’ gangs to offer a proactive approach to repairing potholes. We have also allocated additional exceptional funding in this year’s budget which is enabling three additional gangs working on our highways, meaning there is now a minimum of fourteen gangs working on the network at any one time. Our operational hours have also been extended to include twilight and Saturday shifts and we’ve invested in an additional Jet Patcher which will operate until early Autumn.
“Our staff are working hard to resolve these issues and we do not tolerate them receiving abuse for carrying out essential work. This results in members of staff feeling unsafe and this is why we are asking the public to be kind and to treat our workforce with respect.”
More information on Stamp It Out, the industry-led campaign to eradicate road worker abuse can be found at: www.stampitout.uk