Environment

Advice to take extra care, however you travel

Road Safety GB poster

Posted on: 28 May 2020

Lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease and the County Council is encouraging all road users to take extra care on roads, pavements and cycle routes as more people start to travel.

With some schools taking more pupils from Monday (1 June) and more shops looking to re-open by the middle of next month, Devon County Council is reminding people to look out for each other.

More children and parents will be making the journey to and from school and more people may be cycling and walking to work rather than using public transport. In trying to maintain a social distance people could unexpectedly step into the road, so motorists are asked to drive with the safety of children in mind at a speed suitable for the conditions.

Automatic traffic counters on 10 of Devon’s A-roads have shown that traffic flows are now around 36% lower than this time last year – at the start of lockdown, traffic had reduced by around 69% compared with levels in 2019.

Average speeds of traffic have also been high during lockdown and motorists are being urged to slow down to protect themselves and other road users.

Devon County Council is backing Road Safety GB’s Take Extra Care campaign. The advice from the County Council is:

– Drivers need to give people walking and cycling even more time and space. Please be patient and pass slowly and only when it is safe to do so. The two-metre social distancing guideline is a good one to use for drivers overtaking people walking and cycling;

– Pedestrians and cyclists are asked to be considerate of each other on shared spaces, allowing plenty of room (ideally two metres) for each other when passing. Cyclists should ride at a speed which is appropriate for conditions and ring your bell or politely make pedestrians aware if you’re approaching from behind;

– New or returning cyclists who have taken to two wheels during lockdown may not be experienced at cycling in traffic so please take extra care as the roads get busier.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Traffic levels are increasing again so there is more risk for all road users and more hazards facing the increasing numbers of people walking and cycling. Motorists need to stay alert and be aware that pedestrians trying to maintain a social distance may step unexpectedly into the road.

“Everybody is safer in our communities if we all give each other space – that doesn’t just apply in supermarkets but also on footpaths and cycle paths or on our local roads. By slowing down and giving each other space we can all play our part to ensure we don’t add any unnecessary burden on the emergency services and NHS, and help to save lives. Devon residents have looked after each other during lockdown and we need them to do so on our roads as well.”

For information on cycling including cycle routes, maps, advice and free adult cycle training sessions please visit the Travel Devon website.

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