Increase in traffic prompts council reminder to stay at home

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Residents are being reminded to stay at home and only make essential journeys after an increase in traffic on Devon’s roads.

Devon County Council said traffic travelling on the county’s A-roads has increased over the past week.

The first two weeks of the lockdown saw a dramatic reduction in traffic of nearly 69 per cent, with daily trips down to around 57,000 from 178,000 at the same time in 2019.

However, around 10,000 more daily journeys are now being made. Samples from 10 automatic traffic counters showed around 70,000 trips a day at the sites, and seven-day traffic flows have risen by 20 per cent since the end of March.

Although traffic speeds are still being analysed, early indications are that average speeds have also increased during the lockdown period, and a greater proportion of traffic is travelling above speed limits.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for highway management, said: “It is, of course, a concern to see any increase in traffic flows on Devon’s roads, though what we’re seeing reflects the national picture.

“The lockdown restrictions are tough on all of us, but I would urge everyone to think about whether you need to make your journey.

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“We’ve all heard the messages about staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives, and we should thank everyone who has stuck to that because we’ve seen that you are making a difference.

“The South West has the lowest rate of hospital coronavirus cases in the country, and everyone in our region has helped play a part in that by observing the lockdown restrictions.

“We can’t let that go now, particularly with a bank holiday coming up. If everyone starts travelling around Devon it may not take much for us to lose the progress we’ve made. Please continue with your efforts – stay at home and only make essential journeys.”

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