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Safe travel

What we can’t do

Devon County Council aims to assist safe winter travel in every way that we can, however not everything is under our control or in our remit.

Some of the things we are can’t do are:

  • undertake salting or other work on the motorway or trunk roads as these are the responsibility of National Highways
  • salt all roads as this would be an enormous and costly task
  • always keep roads free of ice and snow

Footways and cycleways

Whilst some precautionary treatment of footways and cycleways would be desirable, the cost of providing a service suggests that the current policy of only providing a reactive service is appropriate, when considering the risks to the road user and the Authority.

Busy footways, for example, main shopping centres, are treated on a reactive basis during periods of prolonged freezing, within the resources available, once the precautionary salting network is clear.

Major cycleways will only be treated on a reactive basis during periods of prolonged freezing within the available resources and priorities.

If your parish council has a registered snow warden, they may be able to assist with gritting footways and cycleways in your local area.


We do not routinely salt most school bus routes (except access to secondary schools), the bus driver is the one who will make the decision as to whether it is safe to travel.

Schools are being encouraged to use social media, local radio/TV and their own websites to update parents, and there is a DCC schools closure website where schools that have subscribed can update their information on closures and live updates. They are also encouraged to be prepared and buy their own salt if need be.