Business as usual for highways and traffic management team
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The highways and traffic management service is maintaining a business as usual approach to this current lockdown, works have been able to carry on as the supply chains are still active.
Unlike the first lockdown in the Spring the traffic flows have not seen the reductions that happened then. At the moment weekday traffic flows (on A roads) are down 33% and weekends by about 50%.
So far this winter the:
Lowest road temperature recorded was -7.2°C on Dartmoor on December 31
About 7cm of snow fell on Dartmoor on December 4
Over 10,000 tonnes of salt have been used, which is more than total for last winter
23 tonnes of salt provided to Parish and Town Council snow wardens
February will start with northerly airstream and low pressure dominating but high pressure may build by the middle of the month bringing drier but cold conditions, but there is low confidence in this!
The Beast From the East number two is not predicted now to roar as the ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ event is most likely to bring northerly airstream rather than easterly from current predictions and hence more impact on the NE of the UK.
As for street lighting conversion, well I’m pleased to report that we are currently upgrading 300 lights a week to LED, but this will increase eventually to 600 a week with works happening in Honiton, Okehampton, Northam, South Brent, Tedburn St Mary, Tavistock and several smaller villages in the south area. The programme is ambitious, but we are looking to largely complete the upgrade in the next 15 months. An upgrade to the central management system will be starting shortly working on Exeter streetlights and extending the system to surrounding areas including Sidmouth where a site has now been identified for the base station creating further energy savings.
The Network Operations Team have also been doing a sterling job in supporting the NHS with their deployment of vaccination centres by:
Supplying salt and grit bins where requested
Increasing salting routes to take in most centres not already on the network
Enabling the NHS to achieve an acceptable Traffic Management Plan for Westpoint and working with our Transport Coordination Service to allow local buses to divert through the site
Supporting with VMS where appropriate
And finally… I was interested to hear that the level of potholes this January are the lowest in the last four years:
However, Our term maintenance contractor Skanska and the team are not being complacent and are actively monitoring the number of gangs that are required, with additional gangs being used when needed.