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Devon County Council prepared for road disruption caused by the heatwave

As temperatures across the county are forecast to remain high, Devon County Council reminds the public to travel with care.


The Amber weather warning for extreme heat is in place from midnight Wednesday 10 August 2022 until midnight Sunday 14 August.


Road temperatures were recorded as reaching 56.2 degrees yesterday, which can cause dangerous conditions for driving.


The council says that it has vehicles on standby, should they be needed to ‘dust’ roads that become tacky under the glaring sun.


The council reports that the high temperatures this summer have so far caused a few stretches of roads to become a little tacky, ‘but have not become a problem’.


Rail strikes on Saturday could lead to increased traffic volumes, with the possibility of additional road closures. Plan your journeys by checking the @devonalert twitter page, which will be sharing traffic updates, before you travel.


The council is asking the public to use the roads cautiously and to report any issues via the Report a problem webpage or by calling 0345 155 1004 in an emergency.


Councillor Stuart Hughes, who is responsible for the county’s highway maintenance, said:


“We’re used to being vigilant when using the roads in adverse weather, such as strong wind, rain or snow, but summer’s high temperatures are also cause to be extra alert.


“We’ve not seen it so much in Devon this year, but roads can become tacky as high temperatures warm up the surface material, and in extreme cases can cause damage to the road.


“Bright sunshine can also dazzle or obscure drivers’ sight, and heat inside the vehicles can make drivers drowsy while driving.


“Our advice is to travel with care. Be alert to the condition of the road and drive appropriately. Where we see roads becoming tacky with the heat, we are ready to dust them to improve friction, so drivers need to stay alert and reduce their speed as they would on newly gritted or treated roads.


“And remember, drivers may be confident in their own ability, but with more people using the roads in Devon during holiday season, and with high temperatures possibly making people fatigued at the wheel, everyone needs to pay attention to others on the road.


“Take regular breaks when driving longer distances, and remember to take water with you to keep hydrated.


“And when stopping, don’t leave others unattended in a closed vehicle, especially young children or people with underlying health conditions, or pets.”


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