Worcester roads may have to be re-dressed after surfacing shambles

Malvern Gazette: Pedestrians, buildings and cars have been battered by the dust in recent days Pedestrians, buildings and cars have been battered by the dust in recent days

CITY roads at the centre of a resurfacing dust storm may have to be “re-dressed”, it has emerged.

Work on the major routes through Worcester, including Barbourne Road, The Tything, Bath Road and Bromyard Road, was halted after a “rogue batch” of chippings left pedestrians, buildings and vehicles covered in dust.

Pedestrians, business owners, motorists and pedestrians were left angry after the thick clouds appeared as vehicles travelled on roads undergoing the work on Wednesday.

As revealed in your Worcester News yesterday, the problems were caused by faulty chippings used on the thoroughfares by contractors employed by Worcestershire County Council.

However, drivers in the city yesterday were surprised to find more work had been carried out overnight on Wednesday night and on George Street, Hallow Hill and Hylton Road last night.

But Jon Fraser, Worcestershire’s County Council’s highways manager, said steps had been taken to resolve the issue and remove the faulty chippings.

“The rogue batch of small chippings that caused the problem have been rejected and removed and will not be used on any future sites,” he said.

“Surface dressing (with an acceptable chipping) took place successfully last night (Wednesday) on Tybridge Street, Droitwich Road and Blackpole Road with no reported problems.”

However, he said the roads would now be monitored in a bid to avoid a repeat of the problems.

“There are no safety issues with the roads that were affected by the substandard chippings, however, we will be monitoring these sections of highway over the next few weeks to ensure that we are happy with the quality and longevity of the road surface,” Mr Fraser said.

The council also confirmed the costs of any additional work caused by the problem would be borne by the contractor – meaning the taxpayer would not foot the bill.

However, a statement from the authority also confirmed a “worst-case scenario” would see affected routes being ‘redressed’, although there would be no need for any excavation work or removal of previous surface dressing, it added.

Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member for highways, said: "I guess Ringway (the contractors) will be billing their suppliers for this, but whatever they do it won't cost taxpayers.

"There has obviously been a problem their end but it will be put right at their expense.

"The frustrating thing is that the chips were all tested and even the small ones did meet the right standards to be used, but when cars and other vehicles started to go over them it become clear there was an issue with that batch."

The road surfacing scheme is a £3 million project to restore the condition of some of the county's busiest routes.

It has also included scores of residential roads in areas like St Peter's, Worcester.

 

Comments (22)

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9:28am Fri 21 Jun 13

More Tea Vicar says...

Sounds fair enough. Any supplier can provide a faulty product on occasion. Shouldn't happen, but it does.

The customer, in this case the Council, should have its own QC procedures to pick up rogue products, but that can fail in any organisation, as appears to have happened here.

So long as the supplier bears the extra costs involved, and takes measures to ensure that it doesn't happen again, it sounds like normal procedures have been followed.
Sounds fair enough. Any supplier can provide a faulty product on occasion. Shouldn't happen, but it does. The customer, in this case the Council, should have its own QC procedures to pick up rogue products, but that can fail in any organisation, as appears to have happened here. So long as the supplier bears the extra costs involved, and takes measures to ensure that it doesn't happen again, it sounds like normal procedures have been followed. More Tea Vicar

9:39am Fri 21 Jun 13

farmeralan1963 says...

Rogue chippings? What sort of pathetic excuse is that! At the end of the day, despite it being cheap, ineffective and a hazard, the council will continue to use surface dressing against everyone's wishes, but to counter any criticism of its use and its effects, it seem the highways department are now coming out with lame excuses. And on the off chance there was a problem with the materials, was it not the council's responsibility to do checks first etc before it was used?! Because they didn't do any ore checks or ask questions, further mayhem will be caused.
Rogue chippings? What sort of pathetic excuse is that! At the end of the day, despite it being cheap, ineffective and a hazard, the council will continue to use surface dressing against everyone's wishes, but to counter any criticism of its use and its effects, it seem the highways department are now coming out with lame excuses. And on the off chance there was a problem with the materials, was it not the council's responsibility to do checks first etc before it was used?! Because they didn't do any ore checks or ask questions, further mayhem will be caused. farmeralan1963

9:57am Fri 21 Jun 13

forget-me-not says...

London Rd still shrouded on school run this morning. Just wondering if there are any guidelines for all the children having a daily dose of this stuff in their lungs.
London Rd still shrouded on school run this morning. Just wondering if there are any guidelines for all the children having a daily dose of this stuff in their lungs. forget-me-not

9:59am Fri 21 Jun 13

sugarlump says...

I've heard it all now!!

perhaps we should discuss later when the dust settles. tee hee
I've heard it all now!! perhaps we should discuss later when the dust settles. tee hee sugarlump

10:23am Fri 21 Jun 13

More Tea Vicar says...

farmeralan1963 wrote:
Rogue chippings? What sort of pathetic excuse is that! At the end of the day, despite it being cheap, ineffective and a hazard, the council will continue to use surface dressing against everyone's wishes, but to counter any criticism of its use and its effects, it seem the highways department are now coming out with lame excuses. And on the off chance there was a problem with the materials, was it not the council's responsibility to do checks first etc before it was used?! Because they didn't do any ore checks or ask questions, further mayhem will be caused.
Good points.

I'm no massive fan of Council management in general. But any producer can on occasion provide sub-standard product, and any customer can, on occasion, let it past its QC procedures.

So long as it's a one-off, and there is no hint of collusion between Council staff and suppliers, and the supplier bears the costs of re-doing the work, I'm reasonably relaxed with this.

On the other hand, if it emerges that there are known issues with the supplies, supplier and procedures, then the story changes, quite radically.
[quote][p][bold]farmeralan1963[/bold] wrote: Rogue chippings? What sort of pathetic excuse is that! At the end of the day, despite it being cheap, ineffective and a hazard, the council will continue to use surface dressing against everyone's wishes, but to counter any criticism of its use and its effects, it seem the highways department are now coming out with lame excuses. And on the off chance there was a problem with the materials, was it not the council's responsibility to do checks first etc before it was used?! Because they didn't do any ore checks or ask questions, further mayhem will be caused.[/p][/quote]Good points. I'm no massive fan of Council management in general. But any producer can on occasion provide sub-standard product, and any customer can, on occasion, let it past its QC procedures. So long as it's a one-off, and there is no hint of collusion between Council staff and suppliers, and the supplier bears the costs of re-doing the work, I'm reasonably relaxed with this. On the other hand, if it emerges that there are known issues with the supplies, supplier and procedures, then the story changes, quite radically. More Tea Vicar

11:01am Fri 21 Jun 13

gmoore1207 says...

why dont they do it properly these chippings are crap and do not last plus the damage the cars they say not if you drive slowly might as well walk
why dont they do it properly these chippings are crap and do not last plus the damage the cars they say not if you drive slowly might as well walk gmoore1207

11:22am Fri 21 Jun 13

More Tea Vicar says...

If this method is provenly crap, then maybe the Council should stop using it?

That said, there are clear signs saying drivers shouldn't exceed 20mph, and drivers could help by respecting the limit.
If this method is provenly crap, then maybe the Council should stop using it? That said, there are clear signs saying drivers shouldn't exceed 20mph, and drivers could help by respecting the limit. More Tea Vicar

12:03pm Fri 21 Jun 13

WilkoJ says...

Mr Fraser and his fellow highway cronies are fast becoming a joke. Apart from a total inability to deliver highway services properly, efficiently, cost effectively and do what people want rather than do what they think we want, their excuses for constant failures are just laughable.

It's also intriguing that the road between Nunnery Way at County Hall has not long been totally resurfaced with new tarmac, when all that was needed were a couple of potholes that required filling, yet everywhere else the highways department persist with tar and chippings. Seems like they're feathering their own nest.
Mr Fraser and his fellow highway cronies are fast becoming a joke. Apart from a total inability to deliver highway services properly, efficiently, cost effectively and do what people want rather than do what they think we want, their excuses for constant failures are just laughable. It's also intriguing that the road between Nunnery Way at County Hall has not long been totally resurfaced with new tarmac, when all that was needed were a couple of potholes that required filling, yet everywhere else the highways department persist with tar and chippings. Seems like they're feathering their own nest. WilkoJ

12:22pm Fri 21 Jun 13

More Tea Vicar says...

The Council management's inability to do basic jobs well is precisely why there should be a cull of senior management at County Hall, and the likes of Ms Haines should be sacked.
The Council management's inability to do basic jobs well is precisely why there should be a cull of senior management at County Hall, and the likes of Ms Haines should be sacked. More Tea Vicar

12:31pm Fri 21 Jun 13

LastChanceSaloon says...

It's not "surface dressing" it's papering over the cracks
It's not "surface dressing" it's papering over the cracks LastChanceSaloon

3:13pm Fri 21 Jun 13

Name unknown says...

I'm neither the biggest fan nor the biggest critic of the Highways Dept., but any organisation, company, or individual can be caught out by faulty products - it's just one of those things. Let's keep it in perspective...
I'm neither the biggest fan nor the biggest critic of the Highways Dept., but any organisation, company, or individual can be caught out by faulty products - it's just one of those things. Let's keep it in perspective... Name unknown

8:08pm Fri 21 Jun 13

keep it real says...

I washed my shiny red car this morning and to my misfortune took a route along hylton road, round by the fire station and up bath road, then back again and the car is now covered in tar from the road improvements !!!!
Where there's blame is there a claim ?
I washed my shiny red car this morning and to my misfortune took a route along hylton road, round by the fire station and up bath road, then back again and the car is now covered in tar from the road improvements !!!! Where there's blame is there a claim ? keep it real

9:34pm Fri 21 Jun 13

bobnohope says...

I,m no expert in this, but probably a case of the wrong material sent rather than a rogue load. My guess is a load of soft limestone chippings was delivered instead of the harder granite stone chippings. You wouldn't,t notice until vehicles drove over it, crushing the stone and creating loads of dust.
I drove down Blackpole Rd today and tho not as bad as the Tything the other day, it's still a bit to dusty.
I,ve driven on many a stone chipped road for 30 years or more and never seen anything like it. The workmen should have stopped straight away when realised, I can't believe they are still carrying on. This method relies on the traffic for compaction, so a certain amount of stones flying everywhere is pretty normal.
I,m no expert in this, but probably a case of the wrong material sent rather than a rogue load. My guess is a load of soft limestone chippings was delivered instead of the harder granite stone chippings. You wouldn't,t notice until vehicles drove over it, crushing the stone and creating loads of dust. I drove down Blackpole Rd today and tho not as bad as the Tything the other day, it's still a bit to dusty. I,ve driven on many a stone chipped road for 30 years or more and never seen anything like it. The workmen should have stopped straight away when realised, I can't believe they are still carrying on. This method relies on the traffic for compaction, so a certain amount of stones flying everywhere is pretty normal. bobnohope

12:18am Sat 22 Jun 13

thompson9100 says...

You should see the state of celandine drive! Big wheel marks in places after surface dressing a few months ago. They've already had to re dress Penrose close
You should see the state of celandine drive! Big wheel marks in places after surface dressing a few months ago. They've already had to re dress Penrose close thompson9100

12:18am Sat 22 Jun 13

thompson9100 says...

You should see the state of celandine drive! Big wheel marks in places after surface dressing a few months ago. They've already had to re dress Penrose close
You should see the state of celandine drive! Big wheel marks in places after surface dressing a few months ago. They've already had to re dress Penrose close thompson9100

8:57am Sat 22 Jun 13

WRAA says...

I wonder if the council are monitoring the emissions? I seem to recall that they have a duty of care to deal with dust emissions, especially with the new pm2.5 limits
I wonder if the council are monitoring the emissions? I seem to recall that they have a duty of care to deal with dust emissions, especially with the new pm2.5 limits WRAA

1:22pm Sat 22 Jun 13

forget-me-not says...

Suppose the excess dust needs a good downpour to get rid of it. It was awful yesterday, hence my comment above. I was driving, so have been turning off air-con, and can wash the car at the weekend, but really felt for those in the thick of it. It can't be due to excess speed, as you don't get above 20mph along London Rd at peak times.
Suppose the excess dust needs a good downpour to get rid of it. It was awful yesterday, hence my comment above. I was driving, so have been turning off air-con, and can wash the car at the weekend, but really felt for those in the thick of it. It can't be due to excess speed, as you don't get above 20mph along London Rd at peak times. forget-me-not

1:02am Mon 24 Jun 13

Jabbadad says...

I noticed when driving carefully along Barbourne by St Georges lane that there were quite deep and long ruts in the road where the dressing had obviously not taken. this is a danger to Motorcyclists and Cyclists and possibly even cars. If I saw this fault why couldn't these road workers also see this and don't the County Council check any work that takes place?
I noticed when driving carefully along Barbourne by St Georges lane that there were quite deep and long ruts in the road where the dressing had obviously not taken. this is a danger to Motorcyclists and Cyclists and possibly even cars. If I saw this fault why couldn't these road workers also see this and don't the County Council check any work that takes place? Jabbadad

11:09am Mon 24 Jun 13

More Tea Vicar says...

Looks to me like the Council is doing its usual trick - spending the maximum amount of money for the minimum amount of effect.

Surface dressing is cheap and cheerful. In many cases, the road is barely better after than before, and even then, not for long.

I'd suggest that what's needed, certainly on the major roads, is thorough re-surfacing. Much more expensive and time-consuming up front, but a better and more durable solution in the end.

There clearly is money in the public sector purse, looking at the obscene wages paid to top staff. Let's spend it on services for people, not the executive gravy train.
Looks to me like the Council is doing its usual trick - spending the maximum amount of money for the minimum amount of effect. Surface dressing is cheap and cheerful. In many cases, the road is barely better after than before, and even then, not for long. I'd suggest that what's needed, certainly on the major roads, is thorough re-surfacing. Much more expensive and time-consuming up front, but a better and more durable solution in the end. There clearly is money in the public sector purse, looking at the obscene wages paid to top staff. Let's spend it on services for people, not the executive gravy train. More Tea Vicar

12:30am Thu 27 Jun 13

johnowat says...

Utter farce as everything is in Worcester, about time we had a whole new council. I personaly have tar all over the under side of my vehicle and has jammed into the wheels and set!!
Utter farce as everything is in Worcester, about time we had a whole new council. I personaly have tar all over the under side of my vehicle and has jammed into the wheels and set!! johnowat

2:32pm Thu 27 Jun 13

uptonX says...

It's no wonder that more cyclists are being killed on the roads of Worcestershire (figures out today) when the council persist on this type of work. Apart from the dust and the stones thrown up by passing cars (even those driving at 20mph) there is still the danger of piles of loose chipping and wet tar. That's even before it rains and the roads flood because the drains are blocked by all the chippings. The council are so deaf to the views of the communities they are supposed to serve it looks like it'll need a corporate manslaughter case to bring this "surface dressing" nonsense to an end.
It's no wonder that more cyclists are being killed on the roads of Worcestershire (figures out today) when the council persist on this type of work. Apart from the dust and the stones thrown up by passing cars (even those driving at 20mph) there is still the danger of piles of loose chipping and wet tar. That's even before it rains and the roads flood because the drains are blocked by all the chippings. The council are so deaf to the views of the communities they are supposed to serve it looks like it'll need a corporate manslaughter case to bring this "surface dressing" nonsense to an end. uptonX

10:40pm Thu 27 Jun 13

Dorothy Mates says...

My Bert has taken on himself to sort it out and got his steam traction engine out of the garage. It's an old brute of a thing but when it gets going there's no stopping him. He's been up and down all night trying to finish it off but I couldn't bear all that wheezing so I took matters into my hands and pulled him off. I hope everyone appreciates the lengths we have gone to get a polished finish. And at our age too.
My Bert has taken on himself to sort it out and got his steam traction engine out of the garage. It's an old brute of a thing but when it gets going there's no stopping him. He's been up and down all night trying to finish it off but I couldn't bear all that wheezing so I took matters into my hands and pulled him off. I hope everyone appreciates the lengths we have gone to get a polished finish. And at our age too. Dorothy Mates

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