Fifteen people from Sheffield are gaining hands on experience working for the city’s highways maintenance contract, developing invaluable skills to prepare them for their future careers.
Smooth, safe streets welcomed by Sheffield residents
At the end of such an unpredictable year, you could be forgiven for thinking that ongoing improvements to Sheffield’s road and pavements have stopped, with restrictions impacting how organisations are able to continue operating safely right across the country.
But despite two national lockdowns and multiple tier restrictions placed on the city, the council’s highways improvement programme being delivered by Streets Ahead has continued with staff safety remaining a priority throughout.
Designated as keyworkers by the Department for Transport earlier this year, Streets Ahead employees have continued to work around the clock throughout the pandemic.
By the time programmed work comes to an end this month, another 18 miles of road and 38 miles of pavements will have been resurfaced this year, bringing the grand total to 1,791 miles of pavement and 901 miles of roads completed since the contract began in 2012 –the equivalent of a return journey from Sheffield to Lille in France!
Darren Butt, Account Director at Streets Ahead said:
“We purposely chose streets in the city centre to focus on at the beginning of the year. By March, we knew that traffic volumes were going to be much reduced and we wanted to stay away from residential areas and the local hospitals, where many streets are too narrow to accommodate our workforce which makes social distancing challenging.”
Ensuring everyone’s safety during this time has been a top priority for the Amey workforce. Darren continued,
“Our workforce formed work bubbles early on, using the same vehicles for work and not coming into the depot at all wherever possible to minimise the risks to their health and members of the public.”
Broad Street West and Pond Street were the first to benefit from the resumption of resurfacing work, swiftly followed by Hangingwater Lane, Bacon Lane and Bawtry Road to name but a few.
Cabinet member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Mark Jones said:
“2020 has been a really challenging year for us all and the impact on businesses across the city has been unprecedented. In spite of this, Amey have been able to continue delivering vast amounts of highway upgrades in Sheffield by adapting to different ways of working and focussing on areas where footfall and traffic flow was significantly reduced due to the pandemic.
“It’s not been easy to navigate through the changing restrictions but as a result of careful planning and the ability to be flexible when needed, essential resurfacing works have continued, ensuring that our highway network remains fit for purpose and safe for all users.”
Alongside the roads, many miles of pavements have been resurfaced, such as those on Waterthorpe Rise where a resident was so pleased with the result, they chose to write to Streets Ahead expressing their appreciation.
The resident said: “Please extend our thanks to the Sheffield Surfacing team for the great footpath job that they have completed on the Waterthorpe Farm estate. The surfacing staff were most helpful, polite, friendly and accommodating. They did what they could to make their task as least disruptive to our residents.
“Please also extend our thanks to the Amey staff who worked on this; they have tried to deal with the residents parking with as much sympathy as possible and the estate is looking much improved thanks to you and them.”
The completion of work on Shalesmoor this week marks the end of this year’s resurfacing programme, but plans are already in place for 2021. Updates will be available closer to the time work is due to restart including an updated map on our website at: www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetasahead
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