Swindon town centre roadworks pose a risk, says motorist

This Is Wiltshire: Regent Circus roadworks which caused damage to a car Regent Circus roadworks which caused damage to a car

TOWN centre roadworks are putting drivers and pedestrians at risk because of exposed pot holes and safety barriers scattered across the road.

One road user, Simon Cheney, 47, of Mannington Lane, had a foot-and-a-half long dent put in the side of his three-week old car by barriers at the works in Regent Circus on Sunday.

Simon was following the road around into Clarence Street just before 7pm when he was forced to negotiate barriers across the road and the pot holes exposed as a result.

His car was hit by barriers blown over in the wind as he passed.

And he has been quoted almost £1,200 to repair the damage caused.

Simon, who was travelling with his children at the time, is concerned the poorly managed roadworks may lead to serious problems for other drivers and pedestrians if they are not dealt with.

“I drove down there about a week ago and it was a real mess. I had to drive right around them then, too. If I had come across any further I’d have been up on the kerb and scuffing my alloys,” he said.

“If it’s all blown over the road with debris everywhere, some inexperienced drivers could be making knee-jerk reactions and veering off to the side whilst there are people walking on the pavement.

“It’s a hot spot at night too. There are plenty of people walking around that area, coming from pubs, clubs and restaurants.

“And if they have had a few too many they might be stumbling all over the place.

“This isn’t the first time it’s been like that. There have been problems around that junction for a while.

“The council needs to put stronger methods in place for securing those barriers and ensuring it no longer happens.”

Swindon Council’s website states the roadworks began on May 20 of this year and will run until March 3 in 2014.

James Pringle, 21, a supervisor at Rudis in Regent Circus, said: “It’s not very secure, it’s all fallen down most of the time, especially when I finish work in the evenings.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “The work outside Kingsbridge Point will make the area more pedestrian friendly and will see the footpath widened and a new crossing installed.

“The barriers around the work are weighted down at the base and sandbags are being used to provide further stability.

“Traffic cones have also been placed in front of the barriers, which are inspected on a regular basis.

“We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them.

“Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.”

Comments (15)

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10:39am Wed 3 Jul 13

Wroughton1985 says...

As a driver you should easily be able to cope with such hazards!
As a driver you should easily be able to cope with such hazards! Wroughton1985
  • Score: 0

11:23am Wed 3 Jul 13

godblessengland says...

Wroughton1985, this plastic barrier blew and swung round hitting the side of the car as I drove round the bend!
how would you of easily coped with that?

if any other people who have seen this terrible mess over the past few weeks, please get in touch with the news desk.
the council say....
“We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them.

“Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.”

Which means I will have to find nearly £1200.00 to repair this car due to the contractors not securing the site safely!
Wroughton1985, this plastic barrier blew and swung round hitting the side of the car as I drove round the bend! how would you of easily coped with that? if any other people who have seen this terrible mess over the past few weeks, please get in touch with the news desk. the council say.... “We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them. “Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.” Which means I will have to find nearly £1200.00 to repair this car due to the contractors not securing the site safely! godblessengland
  • Score: 0

11:31am Wed 3 Jul 13

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

godblessengland wrote:
Wroughton1985, this plastic barrier blew and swung round hitting the side of the car as I drove round the bend!
how would you of easily coped with that?

if any other people who have seen this terrible mess over the past few weeks, please get in touch with the news desk.
the council say....
“We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them.

“Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.”

Which means I will have to find nearly £1200.00 to repair this car due to the contractors not securing the site safely!
Have you tried getting different quotes? Surprised a plastic barrier could do that much damage!
[quote][p][bold]godblessengland[/bold] wrote: Wroughton1985, this plastic barrier blew and swung round hitting the side of the car as I drove round the bend! how would you of easily coped with that? if any other people who have seen this terrible mess over the past few weeks, please get in touch with the news desk. the council say.... “We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them. “Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.” Which means I will have to find nearly £1200.00 to repair this car due to the contractors not securing the site safely![/p][/quote]Have you tried getting different quotes? Surprised a plastic barrier could do that much damage! The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

11:57am Wed 3 Jul 13

Inda UK says...

These are the same barriers that were used on the roundabout near Wickes in Gorse Hill. Yes, that roundabout with the 'footpath' around it.

They too were blown into the road, even though they had sandbags on them.

Accusing people of knocking them over is a ridiculous statement to make without any backup. Shame on you Mr. Unnamed Swindon Borough Council spokesman.
These are the same barriers that were used on the roundabout near Wickes in Gorse Hill. Yes, that roundabout with the 'footpath' around it. They too were blown into the road, even though they had sandbags on them. Accusing people of knocking them over is a ridiculous statement to make without any backup. Shame on you Mr. Unnamed Swindon Borough Council spokesman. Inda UK
  • Score: 0

11:59am Wed 3 Jul 13

whaddahey?! says...

I'm not - those plastic barriers are DESIGNED to be extremely robust!!(strangely enough)

Given how busy that part of town is, thanks to the chav/drunk ridden 'night time economy', its a bit of a surprise that the site wasn't properly fenced off with 6 foot high Herris wire fencing which can be bolted together (like they did with the works down on Fleet Street a while back). Funny isn't it that the council can choose one minute to become officious over businesses 'A Frames' supposedly causing an obstruction, whilst turning a Nelsonian blind eye to a situation like this. Still, its never a case of 'do as we do' - always 'do as we say' where they're concerned, eh?
I'm not - those plastic barriers are DESIGNED to be extremely robust!!(strangely enough) Given how busy that part of town is, thanks to the chav/drunk ridden 'night time economy', its a bit of a surprise that the site wasn't properly fenced off with 6 foot high Herris wire fencing which can be bolted together (like they did with the works down on Fleet Street a while back). Funny isn't it that the council can choose one minute to become officious over businesses 'A Frames' supposedly causing an obstruction, whilst turning a Nelsonian blind eye to a situation like this. Still, its never a case of 'do as we do' - always 'do as we say' where they're concerned, eh? whaddahey?!
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Ringer says...

godblessengland wrote:
Wroughton1985, this plastic barrier blew and swung round hitting the side of the car as I drove round the bend!
how would you of easily coped with that?

if any other people who have seen this terrible mess over the past few weeks, please get in touch with the news desk.
the council say....
“We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them.

“Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.”

Which means I will have to find nearly £1200.00 to repair this car due to the contractors not securing the site safely!
Surely you must have insurance, especially for a new car?

I do agree that you'd have had little chance to avoid the damage if the barrier had been swept into your car by the wind - which is entirely believable. Very unfortunate.

One thing, to be fair to the council, is that these types of barriers really are magnets to drunken morons at the weekends, they regularly get kicked and pushed around on Friday and Saturday nights, so could well remain unsecured and unattended to until the following Monday at the earliest.
[quote][p][bold]godblessengland[/bold] wrote: Wroughton1985, this plastic barrier blew and swung round hitting the side of the car as I drove round the bend! how would you of easily coped with that? if any other people who have seen this terrible mess over the past few weeks, please get in touch with the news desk. the council say.... “We suspect the barriers were deliberately pushed over during the weekend as it would take considerable force to move them. “Our contractor has put the barriers back in place but, unfortunately, there is little we can do if vandals are intent on targeting them in this way.” Which means I will have to find nearly £1200.00 to repair this car due to the contractors not securing the site safely![/p][/quote]Surely you must have insurance, especially for a new car? [p] I do agree that you'd have had little chance to avoid the damage if the barrier had been swept into your car by the wind - which is entirely believable. Very unfortunate. [p] One thing, to be fair to the council, is that these types of barriers really are magnets to drunken morons at the weekends, they regularly get kicked and pushed around on Friday and Saturday nights, so could well remain unsecured and unattended to until the following Monday at the earliest. Ringer
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Wed 3 Jul 13

godblessengland says...

RINGER...
yes we do have insurance.
but why because these were not secured properly, I should have a black mark on my insurance and have to pay the excess? I am a careful driver, this could of happened to you, would you just say " oh well! I don't mind" ????
RINGER... yes we do have insurance. but why because these were not secured properly, I should have a black mark on my insurance and have to pay the excess? I am a careful driver, this could of happened to you, would you just say " oh well! I don't mind" ???? godblessengland
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Ringer says...

godblessengland wrote:
RINGER...
yes we do have insurance.
but why because these were not secured properly, I should have a black mark on my insurance and have to pay the excess? I am a careful driver, this could of happened to you, would you just say " oh well! I don't mind" ????
No, I'd be pretty furious as well. However, realistically, it was truly an accident. The council can't possibly monitor all roadworks all the time. Somebody is to blame, and it'll no doubt be the random drunk who knocked the fencing over in the first place.

I've had recycling boxes blown into my car, stationary and whilst driving. You're right that there's really not much you can do about it at the time, and it is massively annoying.

I don't think you'd have a 'black mark' on your insurance, as such, as they'll know what happened. The excess will, obviously be a lot less than £1,200.

Or is the idea here that you want someone else, ie, the council (which is, in turn, the tax payer) for the repair?

BTW, talking of insurance, I'd suggest the quote you got is the one they issue for the insurance company. Make sure you get a few more quotes and let them know it'll be you who's paying them personally, you might be surprised at the difference.
[quote][p][bold]godblessengland[/bold] wrote: RINGER... yes we do have insurance. but why because these were not secured properly, I should have a black mark on my insurance and have to pay the excess? I am a careful driver, this could of happened to you, would you just say " oh well! I don't mind" ????[/p][/quote]No, I'd be pretty furious as well. However, realistically, it was truly an accident. The council can't possibly monitor all roadworks all the time. Somebody is to blame, and it'll no doubt be the random drunk who knocked the fencing over in the first place. [p] I've had recycling boxes blown into my car, stationary and whilst driving. You're right that there's really not much you can do about it at the time, and it is massively annoying. [p] I don't think you'd have a 'black mark' on your insurance, as such, as they'll know what happened. The excess will, obviously be a lot less than £1,200. [p] Or is the idea here that you want someone else, ie, the council (which is, in turn, the tax payer) for the repair? [p] BTW, talking of insurance, I'd suggest the quote you got is the one they issue for the insurance company. Make sure you get a few more quotes and let them know it'll be you who's paying them personally, you might be surprised at the difference. Ringer
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Wed 3 Jul 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

I'm pretty sure the council and/or council contractor should have liability insurance to cover these incidents.

Did you take photographs of the roadworks and barriers at the time of the incident?

However proving it could be a problem. Any CCTV in that area?

If your forced to pay yourself, consider the small claims court to reclaim your costs.

The excess may well be less than £1200, however if a loss of no claims discount is incurred, the total liability including excess and higher premiums for 4 years could well end up being more.
I'm pretty sure the council and/or council contractor should have liability insurance to cover these incidents. Did you take photographs of the roadworks and barriers at the time of the incident? However proving it could be a problem. Any CCTV in that area? If your forced to pay yourself, consider the small claims court to reclaim your costs. The excess may well be less than £1200, however if a loss of no claims discount is incurred, the total liability including excess and higher premiums for 4 years could well end up being more. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Wed 3 Jul 13

justmynote says...

Any contractor has the liability of checking the site every day to ensure barriers etc are kept safe. If what they have in place isn't sufficient the Council should ask them to provide better. I wonder if a different set up would be required if the work wasn't being done by SCS? If a driver can prove negligence they should put a claim into Swindon Commercial Services
Any contractor has the liability of checking the site every day to ensure barriers etc are kept safe. If what they have in place isn't sufficient the Council should ask them to provide better. I wonder if a different set up would be required if the work wasn't being done by SCS? If a driver can prove negligence they should put a claim into Swindon Commercial Services justmynote
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Wed 3 Jul 13

MrAngry says...

I drove around there yesterday. A construction worker was standing the road on the wrong side of the barrier trying to re-erect it. He wasn't watching what he was doing and swung the barrier into the road missing a car by a few inches.
I drove around there yesterday. A construction worker was standing the road on the wrong side of the barrier trying to re-erect it. He wasn't watching what he was doing and swung the barrier into the road missing a car by a few inches. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

9:28am Thu 4 Jul 13

godblessengland says...

so if anyone has seen over the past few weeks the state of this worksite being a mess, please comment on here, as the contractors are saying they are not at fault. But I have witnessed this being like a bomb site before, so there must be others.

I have to take car to authorised body repair centre because I would lose manufacturer paint warranty if I went elsewhere. I am shocked how much it will cost to repair for a dent!
so if anyone has seen over the past few weeks the state of this worksite being a mess, please comment on here, as the contractors are saying they are not at fault. But I have witnessed this being like a bomb site before, so there must be others. I have to take car to authorised body repair centre because I would lose manufacturer paint warranty if I went elsewhere. I am shocked how much it will cost to repair for a dent! godblessengland
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Thu 4 Jul 13

whaddahey?! says...

Why no Herris (tall wire) fencing along this roadworks? Its obvious to anyone and everyone that drunks are likely to meddle with the plastic barriers and cones.
Why no Herris (tall wire) fencing along this roadworks? Its obvious to anyone and everyone that drunks are likely to meddle with the plastic barriers and cones. whaddahey?!
  • Score: 0

8:57pm Fri 5 Jul 13

MrAngry says...

There were about 6 people in yellow vests staring at the road works this morning and scratching their heads. May be they are going to do something about it.
There were about 6 people in yellow vests staring at the road works this morning and scratching their heads. May be they are going to do something about it. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Mon 8 Jul 13

Dickdock says...

These barriers are the contractors responsibility, they have to take into account all risks and hasards, if there is a risk that they will be knocked over or fall over then they are not fit for purpose, the site should be secure, and left safe, if this was a private contractor the local HSE would be all over it, as someone has mentioned when they were installed at the roundabout they were always falling over, Swindon council your contractor needs to secure the site correctly, it is your responsibility, and it is a safety issue
These barriers are the contractors responsibility, they have to take into account all risks and hasards, if there is a risk that they will be knocked over or fall over then they are not fit for purpose, the site should be secure, and left safe, if this was a private contractor the local HSE would be all over it, as someone has mentioned when they were installed at the roundabout they were always falling over, Swindon council your contractor needs to secure the site correctly, it is your responsibility, and it is a safety issue Dickdock
  • Score: 0

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