California Cross Workers Face Unacceptable Abuse

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At the California Cross junction in Finchampstead, road workers faced both verbal and physical assaults as they began roadworks this week. Workers received threats of being stabbed and punched, while another was deliberately struck by a car.

On Tuesday (13 February) a motorist threatened to stab a worker before speeding off while the crew were setting up traffic controls to close Nine Mile Ride. Later, a motorist threatened to punch another worker.

A physical assault took place on Wednesday morning (14 February) when a driver intentionally hit a road worker using their vehicle, before fleeing the scene. The car’s registration number has been submitted to police for investigation.

The workers are equipped with body cameras to capture any incidents and supply to police for prosecution.

Reprehensible behaviour

Cllr Paul Fishwick, executive member for active travel, transport and highways said: “This is completely unacceptable. These hardworking people have been threatened with stabbing and intentionally hit by a car just for doing their job.

“Road workers are there to do a job and to earn a living. How would the rest of us like it if our lives were threatened while we were just doing our jobs?

“This is completely unacceptable and we will use every power available to us to prosecute those responsible for such reprehensible behaviour.

“And, to those who are going around intentionally stirring up trouble in the area, I am asking you to stop and think of the consequences of what you are doing.”

A sense of community

Works at California Cross, which started this week, are designed to bring a sense of community to the centre of Finchampstead village by improving the area for pedestrians, redesigning access to the car parking areas, and installing attractive new streetlights, plantings, bollards and totems.

As part of the first phase, Finchampstead Road will be closed from the Ratepayers Hall to the crossroads and Nine Mile Ride will be closed from just past Gorse Ride to the crossroads.

The road closures and the start of the works have been delayed because of the abuse. The council expects Finchampstead Road and Nine Mile Ride to be closed from tonight (14 February) and is asking the local community for tolerance while the works are being done.

SGN has been carrying out emergency works to repair a dangerous gas leak on The Ridges. The council has been working with SGN to limit the impact of their works on the California Cross project.

The council has a dedicated newsletter to keep people up to date on the project and any diversions which can be found on the one.network website. Sign up to the newsletter by visiting the council’s website