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In the world of traffic management, where the hum of engines, the swish of wheels on wet tarmac and the thud of a dropped cone dominate, Samantha ‘Sammy’ Peters stands out as a powerhouse reshaping the industry.



In the world of traffic management, where the hum of engines, the swish of wheels on wet tarmac and the thud of dropped cones dominate, Samantha ‘Sammy’ Peters stands out as a powerhouse reshaping the industry. From her roots in the equestrian world to her pivotal role in traffic management and her shortlisting at the 2023 Women in Construction Awards, Sammy’s career is a testament to resilience, ambition and breaking gender barriers.

Sammy’s journey began at the age of 21 in the equestrian industry, working in yards that trained and managed race and event horses. However, the allure of better opportunities and the prospect of independence led her to transition into the world of traffic management. This was a decision fueled by the desire to earn a good wage, learn a trade and the appeal of doing a manual job where she could be her own boss.

Her venture into traffic management kicked off with the successful completion of the Temporary Traffic Management Basic Course (TTMBC) – the initial qualification for working on the highway network before the advent of the Traffic Management Apprenticeship in 2023. Joining TMGB (a traffic management labor agency) alongside her father, Sammy further obtained her National Highways Sector Scheme (NHSS) 12D qualification, becoming a certified operative for static works on single-carriageway roads. This sort of work includes the deployment and maintenance of multiphase temporary traffic lights, pedestrian management, and stop/go boards.

“It was a wild, spontaneous thing,” Sammy said of the decision to start working in traffic management, “and now I couldn’t see myself in any other job.” A highlight for Samantha at this time was delivering two-way temporary traffic lights on behalf of HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd.

To increase her portfolio of skills, Sammy enquired about becoming an NHSS 12A/B trainee with HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd 12 months ago. This would give her the skills to operate competently on high-speed roads. Becoming a permanent employee with the organisation she had previously worked for through the agency also afforded her greater financial security and guaranteed working hours.

The move also gave her the opportunity to nurture strong relationships with her peers and manager who have subsequently given her space to thrive. Sammy passed her traineeship, becoming a full, NHSS 12A/B operative over a year ago. She is now performing the role of a Lead Traffic Management Operative (akin to a team leader) in all but title, taking on full accountability for the installation and maintenance of the company’s temporary traffic management on the A5.

In her nearly four years in the industry, Sammy has weathered challenges, with unconscious bias and ‘mansplaining’ being constant companions. Yet, her calm self-assurance and work ethic have propelled her forward, earning her respect in a male-dominated field. She said:

“Some of the people I’ve come across don’t see the potential of a woman in this industry. And working with people of this opinion is the biggest challenge that I face. I experience a lot of “mansplaining”, especially by men who don’t know me. It’s never been unpleasant, it’s just there and it’s annoying to have to justify yourself when you have every right to work there. But the industry has toughened me up over time. A few years ago, it would really have bothered me, but now, I’m level-headed, and I’m calm, I just let it wash over me.

Sammy’s contributions extend beyond her operational prowess. Her approach to customer relations sets a high standard for customer-focused project delivery, earning her recognition for proactive problem-solving in customer service particularly on the A5 where public interface is crucial. Engaging with the public is one of the highlights of the job for Sammy. She likes to have a positive impact on the people she meets, especially if they are experiencing distress. Interaction with the public is an unadvertised, but extremely important aspect of a temporary traffic management operative’s job. Sammy is quickly becoming an expert in the field of delivering exceptional customer service in traffic management and is leading the charge for customer and client relations at a local level. By taking the lead in how she approaches customers, Sammy role models these best practice behaviours for her colleagues who are now more comfortable and confident in liaising with the public as a result.

Looking ahead Sammy envisions a future in the traffic management industry. Aspiring to achieve her HGV Class C license, she aims to climb the career ladder, eventually becoming a Traffic Management Foreman. Her trajectory not only promises personal success but also opens the door for future generations of women in construction and traffic management. Samantha is an ambassador for women considering a career in the industry and she praises the treasure trove of opportunities offered by this exciting, diverse, and lucrative space at every opportunity.

In recognition of her exemplary contributions, Samantha Peters embodies the essence of the ‘backbone of the industry’ and stands as a deserving shortlister for the Women in Construction On The Tools award.