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Plan to keep Exeter’s busiest cycle routes moving during winter

Published: 30 March 2022

Plan to keep Exeter’s busiest cycle routes moving during winter Keeping Exeter’s busiest cycle routes moving

Devon County Council, with the support of Exeter City Council, is trialling a new piece of equipment that will keep the city's busiest cycle routes moving during cold and adverse weather.

From this week, as part of Devon's cold weather service, cyclists and pedestrians may see a small 'ranger' vehicle treating many of the city's main cycle routes.

Winter Service Treatments often continue up until May and, despite the recent warm weather, a cold front is forecast over the next few weeks and this week is a good opportunity to trial the equipment.

Plan to keep Exeter’s busiest cycle routes moving during winter

The Council uses a combination of forecasts and data from our roadside weather stations to determine when treatment is needed and the latest data has been used to map the most frequently used cycleways in the City. This will form the basis of the trial treatment route.

This includes sections in Countess Wear, Marsh Barton, the City Centre, Stoke Hill, Whipton and Pinhoe.

The route also includes a number of bridges around the river and canal – they will be treated separately by hand.

The trial is being carried out now to better understand it’s feasibility and how it could work in practice.

DCC will also undertake ‘dry’ runs on some of the area’s other popular cycling routes to test the equipment’s ability to operate on the network. This will help determine what kind of equipment would be the most effective in the future.

The findings of the trial will be monitored and will help influence future policy decisions.

The scheme is part of DCC’s ongoing commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of residents through increased activity and in reducing emissions as set out in its Strategic Plan 2021-2025.

It’s also in recognition of concerns by cyclists that routes can become slippery, and it’s hoped that the trial will encourage more people to walk and cycle over shorter distances in colder weather.

Each route has been chosen because it carries around 1,000 cycle journeys every day.

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