As of this week Streets Systems are back to operating nationwide offering detailed level of service surveys for streets.
We’ve never stopped working through the pandemic but have had a more local focus as we’ve taken the opportunity to extend and maintain permanent installations in our home city of Newcastle.
Our first experience of physical distancing was 20th March when we had to collect equipment that had been deployed to monitor a temporary street closure in Birmingham. At the time shops were still open and public attitudes were very different to those we see now. Looking back it seems absolutely the right decision to have avoided contact with any of the public over that day.
Our way of working is not dissimilar to that used by construction firms or traffic management firms, but with smaller teams working off carriageway. We’ve adapted to current circumstances and adopted guidance aimed at the construction sector to cope with Covid-19. In a busy location we’ll install our equipment overnight and wash it down before we leave site.
On a project looking at the impact of temporary interventions, of which we have considerable experience, we would typically have set up and left site before contractors implementing the scheme arrive, often 48 hours earlier. We would not expect to return to site until the new layout had been operational for some days (which sometimes means we see informal “changes” that the public make, shifting cones or signage).
Working alone can be quite difficult. On a normal project in normal times we would have a lot of contact with the public who are quick to ask questions about the survey masts and what we’re up to. We would often get useful information on problems people had crossing the road or places where speeds were too high. Losing this contact with both the public and other people involved with a project isn’t ideal, but it’s unavoidable at the moment.