Road maintenance crews are facing abuse from drivers passing by who claim that the works conducted is not essential and breaking lockdown regulations.

Maintenance workers at Ringway are being hurled abuse by the public who deem their work as non-essential and breaking government advice.

While some non-essential sites and projects have been paused during the lockdown, Hertfordshire County Council are continuing maintenance work which would aid the journeys of key workers, emergency services and deliveries.

But workers have reported incidents where they have been verbally abused by people, who assume that the work is not essential during this period.

Some Ringway workers have themselves previously shared this opinion, as they feared that continuing during this lockdown could put their lives at “risk”.

One worker questioned: “Ringway are saying we are keyworkers now, which is untrue. Why would putting a kerb back or patching a footway be essential work?

“We cannot do virtually any jobs that don’t endanger the two-metre restriction, so most are just hanging about in the yard potentially spreading the virus by doing nothing.”

Kevin Carrol, the Ringway Divisional Manager, working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, has now said: “Regrettably, some of our colleagues working across Hertfordshire are receiving verbal abuse from members of the public who view their work as non-essential.

“Keeping the highway network safe and operational, is in line with Hertfordshire County Council and government advice, and directly supports NHS workers, suppliers and other critical services, such as food deliveries, childcare and hospital supplies to keep moving at this time.

“To help raise public awareness, additional signage is being displayed in our works vehicles to reinforce the message that we are carrying out essential works.

“To support those directly affected by abuse we have held various mental health workshops and our teams also have access to our employee support services should they need them.

“We would appreciate the public’s respect and understanding for our workforce as they deliver a vital public service during these challenging times for us all.”

Other precautions are also taken to keep maintenance crews safe, including a focus on urgent repairs, a delay in many projects and ensuring only social distancing with separate vehicles.