Those vanishing Catseyes: Guess where they’ve been found?

OnTheWight exposed Island Roads for have been removing a lot of Catseyes from around the Isle of Wight, but what do they do with them once they’ve taken them out of the road? We have the answer.

Question mark cockroaches

Last week OnTheWight revealed that highways PFI contractor, Island Roads, have not been replacing Catseyes to all the roads they’ve been resurfacing.

Earlier this week, we went on to question why – 18 months into the 25 year contract – the council has not done anything about this yet, effectively letting Island Roads get away with it.

Dumped and left at the roadside
Doug Alldred, who sparked the issue last week having driven around the Island a lot recently and noticed the lack of Catseyes on the roads has been back in touch.

Doug was pretty shocked to discover that not only were Island Roads not replacing Catseyes to all roads they had removed them from, but also that their staff had dumped piles of Catseyes at the side of the road after they resurfaced Shorwell Shute earlier in the year (see photos below).

Disturbing news given the people we’ve spoken to tell us that these type of Catseyes are pretty expensive – and of course, chucking them in the hedge probably isn’t the best idea, litter/flytipping-wise.

Island Roads: They’re ‘Stored safely’
We asked Island Roads to confirm whether the Catseyes that had been removed from roads they’ve resurfaced are being stored somewhere safely?

A spokesperson for Island Roads told OnTheWight,

“Road studs (cats eyes) that are to be re-used are stored safely.”

Questions still outstanding
A request for a list of all roads where Catseyes or road studs have been removed and not replaced by Island Roads has still not been forthcoming from the company.

Over a week ago we also asked the council if, during the tremendously expensive preparation for the PFI, did they gather a list of the locations of Catseyes in their ‘assets’ register. They have also failed to provide an answer, despite re-prompting.

Set of photos
Click on images to see larger versions
Catseyes dumped in hedge
Catseyes dumped in hedge
Catseyes dumped in hedge
Catseyes dumped in hedge
Catseyes dumped in hedge

Image: thebaylees under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 21st November, 2014 6:43pm



Filed under: Isle of Wight News, PFI, Roads, Shorwell, Top story

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41 Comments on "Those vanishing Catseyes: Guess where they’ve been found?"

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Residentify 2

Catseyes that are to be reused are stored safely those that are not are dumped on the side of the road.Roads that are not to be reused are abandoned to the elements and boarded up(undercliff). Time to get our money back from island roads.

Not only are they removing and not replacing the Catseyes, they are illegally dumping material by the roadside. Try driving from Yarmouth to Shalfleet at night. They have removed the Catseyes on a newly resurfaced piece of road going down Ningwood Hill. It’s actually quite dangerous and the ‘new’ glassy white lines which they are painting on the roads don’t work at reflecting the light back. You… Read more »
Steve Goodman

I bet Jay, & Giles, & Pugh, & Brown, & Love, & so on didn’t look much further than the exciting ‘you lot can pay for a golden potholes PFI’ box.

I’ve not seen evidence of the Council “letting IR get away with it”, but OTW *have* previously quoted IR as saying they “would have to seek permission from the Council to not replace Catseyes to roads that had been resurfaced”. Apparently no such permissions had been sought. The Council shouldn’t have to keep a dog and bark itself. Perhaps when the Council get back to OTW they… Read more »

Though this could be an emergency, as road safety is concerned. Perhaps the Council and IR are talking in urgent terms together in the meantime.

sam salt

Are you for real Tryme? You only see the good in e

sam salt
Whoops, what I wanted to say is Tryme always has a positive view of everything. Take off the rose tinted specs Tryme and join the real world sometimes. iR are a disgrace. Your mate Phil needs to take a firm handle on them. They are causing so many problems and the work they are undertaking is nothing but a disgrace. They do not work for Island people… Read more »

Hmmm-mm, I’ve had little or no good to say about the last administration, Enough. Not noticed?

Also, I’ve not said anything supportive about IR, as I recall. I hold no brief for them. I wish they hadn’t been brought in.

I do think that where there is some good we need to acknowledge and appreciate it, as it’s just too much destructive fun to continually run everything down.

Steve Goodman

I don’t think OTW – the island’s much respected best source of news, views, & journalism – are being unreasonable by asking what they do on our behalf; I also think that it’s reasonable to expect prompt answers from those with nothing to hide – especially large public service organisations employing press officers at our expense.

Simon Perry
I’m not sure how much experience you’ve had with media enquiries tryme, but, for my sins, I’ve been at this game for over 15 years. Prior to having to deal with the Isle of Wight Council press office and other organisations that ex-employee might have moved to, I have never had to wait for more than a day for a full response. It’s far more usual that… Read more »

To be fair, if I was a press officer and you kept writing personally insulting things about me, I would become less than eager to pull out all the stops for your convenience.

Lagger, you cause me to reflect that in general life terms, especially if there’s ‘history’, it can be hard to put personal animosity (one’s own or the other person’s) aside, and keep one’s eyes on the goal – the outcome we’re after – and respond according to what will best achieve this. As you indicate, good will oils wheels and is fragile when it seems not to… Read more »
Interesting hypothetical point. Again as a general observation about life, one sometimes sees instances where individual shop assistants, bank clerks, nursing and council staff, waitresses etc get verbally attacked by a member of the public who apparently thinks it’s ok to behave like that simply because they feel in a superior (or very inferior) position and they can; and expect still to be provided a helpful and… Read more »
retired Hack

Tryme, you’re wandering well off the topic of OTW’s relationship with Island Roads’ PR people, aren’t you?


Off-topic, guilty as charged retired Hack! As so often here, a detour sparked off by another’s comment, (in this case Sally writing hypothetically about adverse reactions and ‘rising above it’), and be interesting enough (if only to this poster) as an off-shoot subject to ruminate on.

retired Hack
Lagger, you confuse “personally insulting” with “professionally critical”. And employment histories, which you mention lower down here, are relevant because when the present Island Roads PR personnel worked for the IWC there was the same problem: inordinate delay, often permanent silence, and in particular, obfuscation. It’s all in the OTW archive. Just one example – in 2011 it took them 10 days to admit that Davina Fiore… Read more »

What a shower this lot are.

Surely somebody in our tinpot council will now act on this information?

They are a waste of space if they don’t and certainly need replacing.

Vix Lowthion

So we are paying through the nose, losing essential road safety furniture, and not even getting an explanation? Who is holding IR and IW Council to account? Apart from OTW?

Of course the Council needs to be held to account, Vix! And I am fully in favour of IR being required to explain themselves – I didn’t want them to be brought in in the first place, and haven’t found any grounds so far to feel any confidence in them. You are mistaking me for a supporter of Island Roads! No Simon, I don’t have journalistic experience,… Read more »
Vix Lowthion

Wasn’t aimed at you, tryme. I don’t understand how IR can be asked a perfectly reasonable question about the cats eyes and yet fail to answer it clearly. And IW Council avoid it too. We are spending millions on this. We should have a proper job done.

Island Monkey

Maybe Gavin is too busy advising David Pugh on his next move?


Mmmm! If so, one might question the quality of that advice if recent DP media emissions are used as criteria- what say you as a PR expert CW? :-)


Anychance the recent overturning vehicles are on stretches of road with no / little catseyes

now we see.

2 years ago, I said on here lets wait and see before criticising the PFI.

Now we have seen.


ellielaw — I’ve been surprised at the number of overturning vehicles for a while. It seems to be getting worse. It would be interesting to see the number of overturnings per month over the last 24 months. Something odd going on or a huge coincidence (they do happen). As for cats-eyes, leaving aside the failure of IWC and IR to answer, our Island demography is much older… Read more »
My point that “the Council shouldn’t have to keep a dog and bark itself” still stands. Paying all those millions you would hope that at least a decent job would be done without significant intervention by the Council – which costs us even more money in terms of IWC staff hours. The PFI seems to have been set up in such a way that the Council has… Read more »

Ahem! Is IR flytipping the old cats eyes? :-))

There is a lot of uninformed drivel posted on here about the PFI. Perhaps these moaners would prefer that we kept our neglected roads strewn with pothole and ruts. The government has granted the Island hundreds of millions to counter decades upon decades of neglect and all you can do is pick minor issues that you can attack. The reason we have accidents is mainly down to… Read more »
Steve Goodman

“Conservatives Slashed Spending on Island Roads”

OTW, march 2011.


@jonham “Perhaps these moaners would prefer that we kept our neglected roads strewn with pothole and ruts.”

Erm! It seems we are keeping ” our neglected roads strewn with pothole and ruts” and paying money into VINCI/Meridiam’s coffers in Paris and Luxembourg for the privilege!


jonham “Most are incapable of overtaking or even maintain progress up to the speed limit.”

Please note: Speed LIMIT

Philip Hawkins

The problem is you never notice the ones driving at ‘normal’ speed – ie the same as you, only the overly fast (young?) or overly slow (old?).

Island Monkey

While we’re asking them why they would rather fly-tip cats eyes than replace them, could you ask when exactly our roads will be in a fit and proper state? completion date.

You could also ask them how far behind schedule they currently are, if that schedule was agreed before commencement and what penalty they are paying for non compliance? That should keep them busy for a few hours.

I would also like to know if we can have a look at their policy for encouraging wild flowers, Island Monkey, as every Spring (same as when it was IWC’s responsibility), there are always what for me are very sad reports of sudden clearings away when the plants are in near or full bloom, or later on are on the verge of self-seeding. It would be nice… Read more »
Steve Goodman
I remember those PFI salesmen (Jay, Giles, etc.) telling us how lucky we were to be able to look forward to orchid-saving satellite-controlled grass cutting. Maybe not as useful, nor as attractive, nor as cheap, as less grass cutting & more flowers, but never mind, because the change to PFI road maintenance was such good news. (In fairness, it was good news for Jay & some other… Read more »

Perhaps using this site:

To log this issue on a road by road level will help?

They will also contact the council by email with details of each issue logged.

Not seen the site before, looks like it could be useful!


Please use to report these missing cats eyes- photos also accepted. i have just logged the missing cats eyes on Blackgang Road, it was the first.


If Island Roads have forgotten where cats eyes were installed, they can look on Google Streetview. We can also so how many they have deemed unnecessary.