Why do roadworks always take so long?

  WhiteTruckMan 23:20 27 Oct 2007

It seems that there are more and more roadworks wherever you go, of all shapes and sizes, from small holes in the road to vast swathes of motorway being coned off. And what do they all have in common? There's hardly ever anyone there! looks to me like the building trade isnt the only area of construction to suffer from dodgy workmen. I think one crew might have dozens of different 'jobs' on at any one time, causing maximum inconvenience to large numbers of people, while they waste time shuttling around from one site to another. And if you are indeed lucky enough to see someone, they very rarely seem to be actually doing anything, unless its having a fag, leaning on something or having a natter.

If they have a list of jobs, why cant they get stuck into one at a time, and actually finish what they start before going on to something else? I mean, if they are going to renew a piece of piping, why dig the flippin hole 6 weeks before they lay the new pipe? Or skim a road surface, then wait a month before laying a new one?

Do councils pay them at the start of jobs, instead of the finish?


  Brumas 23:35 27 Oct 2007

For the same reason the cost of providing a new Zebra Crossing costs a staggering £114,000 – the council do the sums and plan it all!

  Forum Editor 23:40 27 Oct 2007

all road repairs or modifications are done on contracts that have hefty penalty clauses written into them - if the contractor doesn't finish the work within the time allowed there's a daily financial penalty.

I have no idea if that applies in this country, but on the evidence it doesn't seem likely.

  Brumas 23:55 27 Oct 2007

They also generally have a policecar parked at the start or finish, helps to keep the traffic flowing so I was told.

  TopCat® 23:56 27 Oct 2007

delays are costing haulage businesses a lot of money and damned inconvenience and to most other road users too. On top of this is the added cost to other companies left waiting for their deliveries and so the list goes on.

It seems to me that some of today's road gangs just don't do enough each day to get the job done properly and in good time. Unless, in certain circumstances some delays are, say, a HSE problem, then they could be delaying things for some overtime pay. TC.

  March Hare 00:07 28 Oct 2007

that some years ago (I think when John Major was premier) an integral part of roadworks contracts was that the contractors had to pay a daily 'rental' for each day the road was blocked by the work. This resulted in many contracts being finished earlier than expected. Such a good idea - I wonder why it doesn't happen now?

  Bingalau 00:39 28 Oct 2007

It doesn't take them long to get the cones out though does it? I often wonder why they have to have such along area coned off and there is only about ten yards of actual road being altered. I nearly said "worked on" but thought that couldn't be the correct phrase.

  robgf 00:55 28 Oct 2007

"I often wonder why they have to have such along area coned off and there is only about ten yards of actual road being altered".

I agree, they have had one lane of a local dual carriageway coned off for about two months now, with a 40mph speed limit and I have yet to see any sign of any work being done.

Compare that with the local Sainsburys, who had their carpark and the entrance, exit roads resurfaced in one day, without closing the store. They were just finishing the last section of carpark when I arrived at 7.30pm, then worked on and finished the entrance and exit roads by morning.
The difference between private and public contracts.

  WhiteTruckMan 01:08 28 Oct 2007

that its the same people doing the public and private contract work, and they set up the public ones to look like somethings happening (it isnt) while they scarper and do private jobs instead.

Mind you, anyone remember when a roadwork crew were followed through the course of a day without them knowing about it and they did about 20 minutes actual work in the entire day?


  wiz-king 07:36 28 Oct 2007

I hate to think of the amount of money wasted over the years by my local council on minor pothole repairs having to be redone each year because of them not 'painting' the edges of the holes they repair with a drop of liquid tar to stick in the patch. It is always the edges that crumble away first so that by the next year after the rain and frost, lo and behold, more work has appeared.

  Colin 10:51 28 Oct 2007

Unless the work being done is in a residential area, what's wrong with the job being done 24 hours a day with 2 shifts of 12 hours? The usual times seem to be 8 till 4 with several tea breaks then a lunch break while they sit in their Transit van with their feet on the dashboard reading the Daily Mirror. Also, who decides on the time set up for the temporary traffic lights – on orangutan?
They don’t need to be red in each direction for 5 minutes at 11 at night. Surely it can’t be that hard to vary the times subject to the time of day?

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