02 December 2022

Safety signs damaged and stolen and workforce abused as St Combs road improvements continue

Aberdeenshire Council is currently carrying out roadworks 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.

For these works to be completed safely, it was necessary to put a road closure in place to protect our workforce and the travelling public. 

Sadly, over the weekends of November 19-20 and 26-27, extensive malicious damage was caused to road closure and diversion signage, while other signs and barriers were stolen. 

The number of signs recorded missing and damaged stands at:

•    28 Road Closed/Road Ahead
•    4 Diversion or Diverted Traffic
•    10 additional signs missing
•    8 barriers missing

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.”