WORK has been suspended on most of Worcestershire County Council’s major infrastructure projects due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Projects put on hold include the Churchfields Improvement Scheme in Kidderminster, the Southern Link Road in Worcester, Pinvin Crossroads near Pershore and the A38 between the M5 and M42 in Bromsgrove.

The council said the decision was made as a result of staff shortages, problems with sourcing construction materials and the need to minimise workers travelling to sites, sometimes from considerable distances using public transport or multi-occupancy vehicles.

However emergency road works will continue.

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “This decision is not one that has been taken lightly but given the current unprecedented situation, controlling the spread of Covid-19 is our number one priority.

“Of course as a county, we want to remain open for business and once the national restrictions are lifted, I’m looking forward to seeing work on our major projects continue but only when it is safe to do so.

"In the meantime, work continues apace on feasibility work, project design and the preparation of business cases for future projects – mostly by staff working from home.”

The council says sites will be left in a safe and secure condition and will be inspected on a regular basis.

Where work is still underway, for example where contractors are making a site safe, the staff will have to comply with the recently-issued construction industry’s Site Operating Procedures.

This means if any worker has Covid-19 symptoms they will not be allowed to access sites.

Workers who do attend sites will have to comply with strict hygiene measures and procedures to minimise interaction between staff.