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More Exeter cycle routes will be protected during the winter freeze

Published: 16 December 2022

More Exeter cycle routes will be protected during the winter freeze The initiative is being run by Devon County Council

A trial to treat some of Exeter’s busiest cycle routes during cold weather is being extended this winter and is already being put to good use during the current cold spell.

Following the success of the initial trial last winter, more routes will now be “de-iced” when conditions are freezing, supporting efforts to promote active travel and lower carbon emissions.

The initiative is being run by Devon County Council, in consultation with Exeter City Council and other agencies.

A small Powerflex vehicle is being deployed to use a liquid de-icer on around 14 miles of selected routes around the city, with a similar solution being sprayed by hand on bridge decks in the trial area.

Cycle trails with more than 1,000 daily trips have been included in the initiative, alongside areas that ensure good connectivity for onward journeys where possible, linking paths with routinely treated roads.

Cycleways and shared paths on parts of the Exe Estuary Trail and Exeter Quay are among the areas included this winter.

The extended trial will also take in stretches of Bridge Road, Topsham Road, Rydon Lane, Cumberland Way, Exhibition Way, St Katherine’s Road, Prince Charles Road, Union Road, Prince of Wales Road, New North Road, and Station Road.

On the outskirts of the city, Honiton Road, Blackhorse Lane, and Gipsy Hill Lane will be covered, as will paths through some of the city’s parks such as Flowerpot Playing Fields and Bettysmead Playing Fields.

Devon have liaised closely with the City Council, Environment Agency, National Highways, and the Exeter Cycling Campaign on the scheme.

Over 95% of Exeter Cycling Campaign members supported the extension of the trial, with 87% saying they would be more inclined to cycle in winter if they knew paths were treated.

Mike Walton, Chair of Exeter Cycling Campaign, said: “Our polling of Exeter citizens shows that nearly nine out of ten people will be more likely to cycle in winter if they are confident their cycle route is being treated.

“More people cycling means fewer cars on the roads, cleaner air, and reduced carbon. We must do all we can to make it safe to cycle, and this includes the winter months.”

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