Improvements to Welsh roads during the lockdown

August 01, 2020

Traffic Wales has today reported on a series of improvements to the road network in Wales, much of it completed during the lockdown.

A number of schemes were begun months ahead of schedule to capitalise on low traffic levels and to minimise disruption to road users.

There has been much close collaboration with the 22 local authorities in Wales to successfully deliver routine and emergency maintenance works throughout lockdown.

The routine maintenance programme is undertaken each Spring and includes activities such as grass cutting, weed treatment, gully-emptying, drainage cleaning, structural maintenance and inspection.

These works are ongoing and are vital to keep the roads in good working order, protect the safety of drivers and reduce the risk of unplanned closures at a later date. By deploying revised methods of working and with additional resources allocated to satisfy social distancing rules, this work has been able to continue safely and on schedule.

In some areas, there has even been a higher output of annual maintenance works than usual.

An estimated 80% of the surface treatment programme has already been completed over 23 sites in North & Mid Wales which equates to approximately 475,000m2 of carriageway being overlaid with cold-applied ultra-thin surfacing.

This material seals the road surface thus minimising deterioration and the development of defects to ensure a safe running surface for all road users.

A number of schemes which would have usually taken place after the summer embargo were brought forward to be completed on schedule and with minimal disruption to road users since the beginning of lockdown.

Notable projects included four phases of essential resurfacing on the A55 between Ewloe and Northop Hall, the resurfacing of an 11km section of the M48 near Newport, and resurfacing works at key locations on the A483 and A489 near Llandrindod Wells in Mid Wales.

In the face of the pandemic and the challenge of maintaining social distancing, teams working on schemes have devised new and innovative ways to keep workers safe as they help keep the country moving.

These range from Traffic Officers working in dual vehicle convoy to the installation of information boards and the adoption of aerial survey techniques linked to artificial intelligence software.