Major road network improving but disruption throughout the day is expected

Posted on: 19 March 2018

Large parts of the major road network are passable and improving, but disruption to travel should be expected throughout the day (Monday) and into tomorrow (Tuesday 20).

Devon’s main routes are improving, but minor roads especially on high ground will remain impassable today.

Council contractors have all their resources; gritters, ploughs and snow blowers, working hard to clear the highway.

They are continuing to prioritise major routes, the primary and secondary road network, and access to larger communities, as well as to key services such as hospitals.

Major routes are now largely passable with care.

72 people stranded by snow were using Devon County Council’s Rest Centre at Okehampton Community College overnight and this morning.

Other areas harder hit include higher ground on Exmoor and Dartmoor, where some communities on the minor roads are cut off and are likely to remain so until resources can be diverted to them.

Travel on the moors and minor road network is expected to remain difficult into tomorrow.

Road temperatures are slowly rising, but insufficiently for there to be a thaw, and a frost is forecast this evening and night time.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highway Management said:

“Our advice is to avoid travel today and tonight if you can. If you must travel, please do so with extreme care and expect longer journey times and disruption. Many of the major roads are passable with care, but a lot of the minor roads in Devon this morning are impassable and will remain so until we are able to divert resources from the priority road network. Road temperatures, while rising a little today, will drop again tonight which may lead to icy conditions and black ice forming especially where snow has melted. Driving conditions will be difficult again overnight and into tomorrow morning.”

The Council is issuing other general advice:

• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures;
• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;
• Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed;
• Drive with care and according to the conditions;
• If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
• Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. NHS Choices has more information on staying healthy during cold weather;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications
• Check out any school closures and sign up for alerts for any school by clicking on ‘Alert Me’.

For more information and travel advice from Devon County Council visit: www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert

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Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment