Dire Straits

Dire Straits – not the band but the state of the roads in Devon!

In  May 2014 Devon County Council produced a report called  “Extreme weather resilience report:  Devon” in which they highlight the problems caused by the severe weather of the last two years.

In essence the County Council don’t have enough money to get the roads into the condition they were in prior to 2012 – let alone improve their condition.

Here are some quotations from that report (my highlights):

“Devon [has] 13,000 kilometres of highway network, the biggest of any authority in the country. . . 52% of the network is unclassified roads connecting villages, hamlets and individual properties to the main [road] network. . .”

“[I]t is clear there is a need for a series of interventions including the decommissioning of some parts of the [road] network and bringing other parts up to a safe standard. . .

  • Invite community self-help to maintain and repair the highway asset,
  • Managing demand for the service by downgrading or stopping up parts of the network and by managing expectations and levels of service.”

“The unclassified road network needs to be reduced in size and the remaining network made safe with additional funding. This will involve a combination of new maintenance methods and greater community involvement.

I’m wondering what form this “decommissioning” will take, which roads will be affected and what the “greater community involvement” will consist of. I’m also intrigued as to what “new maintenance methods” might be. It’s basically not good news at all.