Workers verbally abused and £5,500 worth of signage stolen on Aberdeenshire project


AROUND £5,500 worth of road closure and diversion signage have been damaged or stolen on a roadworks project in Aberdeenshire, the area’s local authority has revealed.

The council is currently undertaking works to improve both the surface water drainage and the road surface on the B9033 in Buchan from the A90 trunk road junction to St Combs.

The works require road closures to protect the workforce and travelling public, however ‘extensive’ malicious damage was caused to road closure and diversion signage.

In total, the number of signs recorded missing and damaged stands at: 28 road closed/road ahead; four diversion or diverted traffic; 10 additional signs; and eight barriers.

Furthermore, Aberdeenshire Council also reported that those on site have been subjected to verbal abuse from a ‘small minority’ of road users attempting to get through the works.

Philip McKay, head of roads and infrastructure, said, “These damaged and missing ‘safety critical’ signs will cost Aberdeenshire Council and ultimately the taxpayer around £5,500 to replace. All these signs are essential to ensure the safety of both our colleagues on site and of the travelling public.

“This road is closed for very good reason and removal of these signs does increase the risk of a road user unexpectedly coming upon members of our team, large construction vehicles or indeed open excavations. Damaging, removing or ignoring site safety signs compromises the safety of everyone and is an extremely irresponsible act.

“It is also of great concern to me that my colleagues on site are being subjected to verbal abuse from a small minority of road users attempting to get through the works. Unfortunately, this sort of abuse is becoming increasing common. I would like to stress again that ignoring road closures is unacceptable and that verbally abusing site staff as they go about their work to improve the network is not acceptable.

“The safety and welfare of our employees is our number one priority, and nobody should be exposed to this type of abuse in the workplace. We understand that roadworks and road closures will cause some disruption and inconvenience, which is regrettable. However the significant improvement that will be made to the drainage and surfacing of the carriageway at this location will bring long-term benefits which I am sure will more than outweigh any minor inconvenience suffered.

“Police Scotland have been made aware of these incidents and CCTV has been deployed on site. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.”