CCTV has been installed to ensure contractors working on the late-running Old Town roadworks in Hemel Hempstead are pulling their weight.
Herts County Council said the cameras have been installed with the full agreement of contractors Jackson Civil Engineering.
The unusual step was taken after complaints that workmen were spotted apparently not doing very much.
Councillor Terry Douris, who oversees the highways brief at County Hall, said: “The CCTV will enable the progress of the work to be monitored and complaints investigated and managed should that be necessary.
“This is not covert surveillance as the workforce on site is fully aware of the system.
“Camera feeds will not be routinely monitored on a live basis but only viewed if there is an issue which needs investigating. Recordings of the camera feeds will be supplied daily to Jacksons.
“The CCTV operates independently of the town’s system but uses its fixings and power. It is only viewing an area that is already covered by the existing system.”
At a meeting between traders, Herts County Council, Dacorum Borough Council and Jackson Civil Engineering this morning, Jamie Boast from the contractors said workmen were often left waiting for materials to arrive.
He said this was due to the delay to works at St Mary’s Close car park caused by the discovery of underground tombs, which meant a dedicated turning point for delivering vehicles could not be created.
He said: “Not being able to have St Mary’s Close means we have to run everything in one way and out one way, which gives us multiple work areas.
“If you are working in one area and you can’t get supplies to the other areas you get a situation where you get a lot of people waiting and you get a lot of guys standing around waiting.
“It is an unfortunate consequence of St Mary’s but we are trying our best to work around it.”