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Holidaymakers and second home owners stayed away this Easter weekend

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There was a huge 85 per cent drop in traffic coming into Devon this Easter following calls for holidaymakers and second home owners to stay away.

On Maundy Thursday last year nearly 16,000 vehicles entered Devon on the M5 over a four-hour period.

Over the same period this year that dropped to less than 2,500 vehicles – and a significant number were commercial vehicles.

Road engineers from Devon County Council surveyed the traffic and saw only one caravan, one camper van and one car pulling a dinghy travelling southwards throughout the entire four hours.

It follows an all-party plea from county council leaders last week for people to stay away from the South West.

Councillor John HartCouncil leader John Hart said: “This is only a snapshot but it is very encouraging. It would seem the vast majority of people heeded our advice to stay away from the South West and keep all those of us who live here as safe as possible.”