Drivers are being urged not to put the safety of road workers at risk after a contractor was struck by a car in roadworks along the A56 in Lancashire on Tuesday night (5 July).
The worker was taken to hospital with a minor leg injury following the incident at Rising Bridge roundabout near Haslingden where a £4.5 million road improvement scheme is taking place.
The roundabout had just been closed for the night as part of the project when a driver arrived on the scene and attempted to drive through by removing cones.
When one of the road workers intervened to make the driver aware that the road was closed, the driver shouted abuse at him and sped through the roadworks, striking the worker’s leg.
The car was then driven further into the roadworks towards machinery and other road workers. The driver swerved onto a grass verge to get through and collided with a contractor’s flatbed truck before driving off.
The car registration was reported to Lancashire Police which is now investigating the incident.
Alan Shepherd, Highways England’s Regional Director in the North West, said:
Our workers routinely face verbal abuse from drivers as they do their job and shockingly this led to one of them being injured earlier this week.
Road workers are trying to do a difficult job to improve drivers’ journeys and often work at unsociable hours overnight when traffic levels are at their lowest.
No-one should have to suffer this kind of abuse just for doing their job, and I hope drivers who have been abusive to road workers or attempted to drive into roadworks in the past will reconsider their attitudes as a result of this incident.
The project to upgrade Rising Bridge roundabout will benefit cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers and includes new traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes, linking villages, schools and businesses on either side of the busy A56.
The roundabout – which links the A56 to the A680 Blackburn Road – will also be resurfaced and new lights will be installed.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.