Planned maintenance on Devon’s roads has been suspended – but highways teams will continue to carry out essential safety repairs.
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East Devon Reporter eastdevonnews.co.uk
County council bosses say the temporary measure will allow them to focus on critical infrastructure to maintain the local network for key workers amid the coronavirus crisis.
Highway maintenance workers have been classified by the Government as key to delivering essential services during the ongoing pandemic.
They play a critical role in keeping roads safe for emergency services and other key workers, as well as the delivery of food and supplies.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member for highway management, said: “We hope that local communities understand that our highways teams are carrying out safety critical work to ensure that NHS staff, care workers, emergency services and essential deliveries can safely get to where they need to go.
“Highways staff are being advised to observe social distancing precautions and I would call on our local communities to do likewise and not approach our maintenance crews.
“They should be applauded for their vital work in keeping our roads safe for everyone during these uncertain times.”
A DCC spokesperson added: “With partial lockdown and social distancing in force across the UK, a number of incidents have been reported recently elsewhere in Britain where members of the public have threatened or intimidated highways crews delivering essential road maintenance, putting themselves and road workers at risk.”
“Devon Highways is asking for understanding from the public while it focuses on safety critical work, such as pothole repairs, drain repairs and clearance, safety inspections, winter gritting and removing unsafe trees.
‘Local communities are being asked not to approach highways workers carrying out repairs and inspections across the county.”