New Exeter control centre monitors Devon’s roads 24 hours a day

Devon’s roads are being monitored 24 hours a day from a new control centre in Exeter.

County council highways bosses have relocated the hub to Sowton as part of their preparations for winter.

The Network Operations Control Centre allows an eye to be kept on parts of the network remotely using CCTV, weather information, traffic and congestion data.

It can also control a range of Intelligent Transport Systems like variable message signs.

The centre also incorporates response and support teams responsible for responding to safety issues on the roads and managing traffic signals and street lighting.

Watchkeepers monitor the county’s huge network of roads 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The centre’s systems link to a network of 35 strategically-placed roadside ice detectors around Devon.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member for highway management, said: “The new control centre is a great asset for the county council to be able to monitor our highway network in order to help keep Devon moving.

“Last winter was relatively mild, but whatever the elements throw at us this winter, the county council is, as always, fully prepared.

“Our depots are stocked with salt and more of our frontline gritters have been upgraded for our gritting teams.

“Our teams are standing by to treat around 2,000 miles of Devon’s main roads on our primary and secondary salting network as and when they’re called upon, and if we do have a sustained cold spell then we also have the support of snow wardens to help their local communities.”

Five gritters have been upgraded this year to replace older vehicles in the authority’s 37-strong winter fleet.

DCC has started its winter operation with its usual levels of around 24,000 tonnes of salt in its depots.

Mild and wet conditions last winter meant around 9,500 tonnes of salt were used on Devon’s roads – treating around 75,000 miles of the county.

More than 3,500 grit bins are available to support ‘self-help’ on roads which are not on the gritting network.

Around 325 volunteer snow wardens in towns and parishes are providing extra support for their communities.

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