Over the New Year period, one of our team members spent a few days visiting their mother who’s just moved onto a new housing estate that’s still under development. Needless to say, the whole area was changing from day to day, with houses going up at a brisk pace (even over the Christmas period), construction traffic everywhere and roads covered in mud, especially on the rainy days. Our team member had expressed some concerns about how their elderly mother would be coping with the construction disruption but worries were laid to rest on the visit.
The new houses are being built by Barratt on a piece of land that adjoins Barry Island (of Gavin and Stacey fame) and, at first glance, the whole area looks particularly uninviting and unappealing. The road to Mum’s house were awash with mud and the whole area looked particularly scruffy.
However, in the spirit of the Considerate Construction initiative, signs apologising for the inconvenience to residents were all over the place and, despite the fact that several sub-contractors were working on this development, the construction workers couldn’t have been more polite and considerate. Each time our team member drove down the road, if there was construction traffic or machinery in the way, they moved immediately to let cars get past. In fact, at one point, a lorry, an earthmover and another construction vehicle all stopped work and pulled over to the side to let traffic get past!
While the signs apologising for the inconvenience were welcome, the whole site proliferated with signage of all sorts, especially safety signage of all sorts. Lorry drivers are urged to drive courteously and the public is warned to keep off the construction site, with an extra warning that children must not play on the site. There was signage to guide customers and pedestrians onto safe access routes when visiting the site. The safety signage included signs on any site entrance (the development covers several locations in the Waterfront area of Barry Docks, once a thriving seaport and now being redeveloped into an attractive residential “Water Quarter”) encouraging all to obey site rules at all times. There was also plenty of signage to ensure that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn by everybody working on the project and signs reminding workers to sign in and out of the site.
In fact, our team member was really impressed with the organisation that was clearly evident on this large, multi-site project and it put to rest any worries about how Mum was coping with building work going on all around. There were multiple site entrances and each was festooned with helpful signs for both workers, residents and passers-by. With the UK planning on building 25,000 new homes during this Parliament and up to 225,000 more in the long term, we’re likely to see development sites springing up all over the UK in the next few years. Let’s hope that they all pay such great attention to signage and safety as they do in Barry.