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Some highways construction activity is restarting where it can be done within the social distancing requirements currently in place, including in Gillingham, Dorset Council has announced.

This also fits in with government guidance that essential travel includes travelling to work where it cannot be done from home.

Working methods at the Gillingham site along Le Neubourg Way have been reviewed to ensure the safety of the workforce and residents.

There will be two gangs working around 100m apart and social distancing will be maintained within each group of workers.

Additional safety measures being taken to ensure the health and safety of workers also includes:

  • Single person vehicle movements both to and from site
  • Daily toolbox talks to share the latest safe working guidance and COVID-19 updates
  • Daily health screening involving temperature checks and general well-being
  • No high-risk workers on site

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘With people staying at home, there has been a significant reduction of traffic flows across our road network.

‘We want to make use of this time to get work done with minimal disruption to drivers, but we also need to ensure the safety of everyone by adhering to current public health and government guidance at all stages, as well as our industry health and safety practices.

‘These restrictions will mean that progress will be slower and the work will take longer than originally planned, but we want to ensure we have done as much as possible before Britain gets back to work.’

Initially, on Monday 27 April, work will start on setting up a new material compound area on Chantry Fields opposite the site offices.

It’s planned that construction activity will resume on Monday 4 May. There will be three-way temporary signals in place from Wyke Street to Church View, with pedestrian crossings provided as before.

Footpath closures may be required during different phases of the work for safety reasons, please look out for local barriers and signage.

Provided work can safely continue within government guidelines, it’s hoped the cycleway construction and Waitrose Junction works will be finished by the end of July.

This will be followed with further improvement works on Station Road, Newbury Roundabout and the New Road junction.

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