New campaign aims to reduce incidents of abuse and assault targeted at road workers
The Expect Respect campaign has been launched in Birmingham to urge the public to respect road workers.
In the last three years, 465 incidents of road worker abuse have been reported in the city.
The incidents include residents threatening road workers with weapons, such as machetes, crossbows and dogs. One worker was shot at with a pellet gun, while another regularly receives homophobic abuse.
Expect Respect features stories from five different operatives who work across Birmingham. They each tell their lived experience of abuse and call on the public to make a change to their behaviour.
The campaign has been launched by the Integrated Programme Alliance (IPA), which delivers vital network improvement works across the city and was established by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Highways Ltd (BHL), together with Kier, Arcadis, Tarmac, Highway Traffic Management (HTM) and WJ Group.
It is also supported by Councillor Liz Clements, cabinet member for transport at Birmingham City Council.
Clements said: “Everyone working on our highways network is doing an important job – and all of their tasks are carried out for the people of our city and those using our roads.
“That is why it is totally unacceptable that they are subject to any form of abuse. Some of the incidents that have been reported are shocking and horrific, which is exactly why I back this campaign.”
To support road workers and to provide the police with better evidence, BHL – which manages and maintains the roads in the city – has invested in CCTV towers, body cameras and warning systems to alert workers when people or vehicles enter a live work site.
Dave Pugh, technical director at BHL, added: “Over 800 people across our IPA teams are working hard to improve the standards of the roads in Birmingham, and they deserve our respect.
"The work they do is vital to the safety and efficiency of our roads, and we hope that the proud people of Birmingham will support our workers and call out any incidences of abuse or assault to collectively help stamp out this shocking behaviour.”
Road workers on the contract receive regular training on public interactions and how to keep these positive, as well as incident reporting training.