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Winter gritters deployed to protect Cumbria’s roads in heatwave

[C]umbria County Council’s gritters are out across the county today, hitting the roads in response to the soaring temperatures.

The gritters are usually deployed during cold snaps to combat freezing on the county’s roads. Today, however, they are spreading crushed rock dust in an effort to protect road surfaces.

Temperatures have been so high that bitumen surfaces have started to become sticky and viscous and under these conditions, bits of the road surface can become stuck to tyres, leaving the roads at risk of being damaged.

The crushed rock in particle sizes between 3mm and dust helps protect roads and vehicles from damage by putting a fine non-stick layer between road and tyre.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “If the bitumen becomes overheated, this could potentially lead to a loss of shape in the carriageway surface as well as affecting vehicles. We have deployed gritters to protect our roads from longer term damage, and also avoiding damage to people’s vehicles.”

Motorists who find any sticky tar on their vehicle are advised to wash it off carefully with warm soap and water. If any tar still remains, they should use some car polish to clean it off.

Roads right across the county have been treated with the dust protection today.

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