Last week driver’s experienced strong delays of more than two hours after 3 lanes were shut during Friday rush hour traffic following the collapse of newly laid concrete. Furthermore at least 25 vehicles have been reported as damaged, mostly with punctures and extreme wear of their tyres.
The failure followed maintenance works that were carried out the evening before, concrete slabs were laid down with ‘quick-set’ cement which failed to uphold against the heavy rain the following morning.
AA President Edmund King said “there must be a thorough investigation into this incident. It is disappointing that not only did the road fail but it placed many drivers in danger and also reportedly damaged a number of vehicles. If this happened on the railways passengers could claim compensation. As it has happened on the roads drivers just have to put up with it.”
Connect Plus, responsible for the maintenance work that caused the delays, have said that “we know that a section of the carriageway failed to set properly following planned overnight maintenance. Similar planned repairs have been stopped while investigations into the cause of the failure are continuing; at this stage it is too early to speculate”.
Whilst this investigation is not yet fully complete, it is known that contractors Balfour Beatty and Skanska, part of the Connect Plus joint venture in charge of the £6.2 billion M25 PFI, who were responsible for these particular road works have placed a hold on any further maintenance until the exact cause of the failures is known.
Furthermore all involved in the Connect Plus venture, with Atkins and Egis also included, will suffer financially as payment is based on performance and as the road was made unavailable and caused damage to road users vehicles there is no question that this payment will be significantly reduced.
Roadworks provide thousands of jobs across the UK and improve travel opportunities across the country, for this reason we at Blueprint hope a solution can be found to these failures and works can continue.
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