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Method Statement: Works on Verges

Staff or volunteers employed in these tasks on behalf of the local council need to apply their training, manufacturers instructions and the outcome of any risk assessment before undertaking work.  The following method statement is to be seen as general advice only.

West Berkshire operates a street works permit scheme and anyone carrying out works in the road will legally need to apply to West Berkshire Council for permission, in advance of the works.

All works on the public highway must comply with the signing, lighting and guarding requirements of Section 65 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

Any traffic management requirements, including any Portable Light Signals, must be applied for with the permit for the works, giving at least seven days notice, unless of an emergency nature, and including a legible plan depicting each layout and sent to the Streetworks Team.

Resources for Activity

  • traffic cones with clean reflective sleeves
  • ticker tape
  • lamps
  • sand bags
  • temporary road signs and frames (if required)

Recommended Work Sequence 

Personnel Issues

  1. Personnel undertaking works on the hard shoulder or verges should ensure that they:
    • have appropriate use of neck, trunk, arms and legs;
    • are capable of giving, receiving, understanding and acting upon instructions;
    • are capable of reading a vehicle registration (number) plate at a distance of 20.5 metres (when wearing glasses or contact lenses if required);
    • have good hearing;
    • are suitable for the work required, and that, safety is not compromised by them suffering from specific conditions or illnesses;
    • are not adversely affected by the taking of medication or prescribed drugs.
  2. Should any personnel feel that they may not meet any of the above mentioned criteria they must inform their supervisor for re-assessment.
  3. Our Policy for drug and alcohol screening regarding the inappropriate use of medication, drugs and alcohol will be enforced through random checks or on suspicion of inappropriate use of drugs or alcohol.
  4. All Operatives shall wear, as a minimum, a high visibility jacket to BS EN 471, Table 1: Class 3 and high visibility trousers. In addition, other staff such as those carrying out site visits or inspections should consider the use of high visibility trousers in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 8.
  5. Personnel should work facing oncoming traffic, wherever practicable.
  6. Personnel shall consider their own, and other people's safety when working in areas where the grass verge is narrower than usual.
  7. Personnel shall endeavour to access and/or egress vehicles from the side of the vehicle that presents the least risk.
  8. In addition, wherever practicable, the loading and unloading of tools and equipment shall not be undertaken from the live traffic side of the vehicle.

Traffic Management Issues

  1. Traffic management shall be provided in accordance with the following:
    • Short duration stops within the hard shoulder do not require advance warning signs or temporary traffic management.
    • Medium duration stops within the hard shoulder require temporary traffic management as shown in Appendix 1: Figure 1.
    • Long duration stops within the hard shoulder require a hard shoulder closure in accordance with Chapter 8 ref Design Document Section 6.8 (check reference on publication of revised Chapter 8).
    • Stops within the verge on roads with or without a hard shoulder, provided adequate lateral clearance can be maintained, require:
      • For short duration stops - no advance warning signs or temporary traffic management;
      • For medium and long duration stops - temporary traffic management to Appendix 1: Figure 2.
  2. All temporary traffic management equipment shall be clean and fit for the purpose on initial deployment and be regularly maintained in such condition until completion of the work.
  3. For the ease of transportation, the use of collapsible signs and cones for medium duration stops should be considered.
  4. Measures must be taken to stabilise traffic signs/frames, with ballast in the form of sacks containing fine granular material, or to otherwise secure them to permanent fixtures.
  5. Cone bases, sign plates and frames should be marked to facilitate identification of ownership.
  6. Placement of vehicles in the verge should avoid restricting the sightlines of passing vehicles.

Site Assessment for Lateral Safety Clearance

Lateral Safety Clearance ranges

Lateral Safety Clearance
40mph or less50mph or greater


  1. To assess the traffic management requirement for the works, one person facing oncoming traffic can feed out a measuring tape towards the edge of the carriageway from a safe working distance away from the carriageway and when there is a gap in the traffic, to establish if a suitable lateral safety clearance can be achieved, in accordance with Table 1 above.
  2. Consideration must be given to Chapter 8 Traffic Signs Manual Part 1: Design - Section D3.20.3 when works comprises of inspections, minor repairs, lamp changing.
  3. Where there is sufficient working space to install the correct Lateral Safety Clearance, the following must be adhered:
    • One row of longitudinal traffic cones or barrier to be placed at the measured lateral safety clearance, covering the work area.
    • Where traffic cones are used these shall be clean and fitted with reflective sleeves, in a good condition and taped, to provide a continuous barrier.
    • There is no requirement to provide advance signing.

When to apply Lateral Safety Zones

  1. Lateral Safety Zones consisting of a delineated row of cones or barrier must always be applied when carrying out work on verges that comprise of any excavation or cyclic maintenance unless the works can be safely carried out behind the refuge of an existing barrier. Advance signing or other temporary traffic management must always be considered.
  2. Lateral Safety Zones may not be practical on more transient works such as litter picking and some strimming works where large distances are being covered throughout the works where a site specific risk assessment would need to be carried out to determine the safest working practice.

Please see the PDF method statement for Works on Verges for diagrams and further information on:

  • Dual Carriageways - standard relevant Traffic Management Layouts
  • All Purpose Single Carriageway - signing and guarding not required
  • Dual Carriageway - signing and guarding not required


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