Drivers accused of assaulting workers over road closure

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 October 2011

Roadworks sign

Roadworks sign

Archant

TWO people working on the A370 last week were physically assaulted by drivers who were angry about the road's closure.

One road worker was grabbed by the throat and had abuse shouted in his face when he told a driver the road was closed.

On the same night, October 5, another worker was knocked down by a man who drove his car through the barriers to hit him.

The incidents, which happened at the Congresbury and Yatton ends of the 
closure respectively, were not connected.

Police were called to the first incident, but the worker did not press charges. The second incident was not reported to police.

The contractors, Balfour Beatty, put extra workers on the road this week to protect employees from other motorists frustrated at the works.

The A370 has been shut between 
7pm–6am each night since October 3 but will reopen tomorrow (Fri). It was closed by the North Somerset Council for 
resurfacing at a cost of £250,000.

A North Somerset spokesman said: 
“The behaviour of these people is totally unacceptable. In fact their intolerant, aggressive attitude is mindless and 
dangerous.

“The roadworks have been widely 
advertised and there are prominent advance warning signs on the approaches to Congresbury

“We need to close the road to carry out the resurfacing and when the work is finished there will be definite benefit for everyone using the route.”

Tom Liemdorfer, who sits on 
Congresbury Parish Council and represents the village on North Somerset, said: “I can understand people are frustrated but this is totally unacceptable behaviour. There is no way that it excuses that kind of behaviour at all.”

It is not the first time the council has encountered problems during the works. Last week contractors failed to put out the signs correctly which led to confusion among motorists.

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