Gritters used in summer to save melting roads prompt 'a lot of head-scratching'

The vehicles are usually deployed to clear roads that are hazardous due to snow and ice. However, with the extreme heat posing a potential risk of damage to roads Hampshire County Council have brought its fleet of gritters out of hibernation.

When operational the vehicles will spread light dustings of sand instead of the usual salt on roads.

This will soak up excess tar and minimise the chances of roads melting.

The gritters are most likely to target areas with older road surfaces in rural locations and south facing.

Any motorists unfortunate enough to have tar stuck to their tyres are advised to wash it off with soapy water.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said there might be “a lot of head scratching” if people saw the gritters being used in summer.

He said: “Snow and ice are the last thing on most people’s minds at the moment and I’m sure there’s been a lot of head-scratching if they’ve seen our gritters out on the roads in the height of summer.

“However, our gritting teams are once again playing a vital role in keeping the country’s roads safe for motorists.

“This proactive work helps reduce the potential damage high temperatures can inflict on our roads, so keeping them safe and limiting disruption.

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The Met Office have said that temperatures could soar to an unprecedented 43C next Sunday.

Speaking to The Sun, Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said we could be facing some “record breaking” heat.

He said: “Next weekend we could have some really exceptional record-breaking heat and it will ramp up suddenly — like someone has turned on the gas.

“Some models from America indicate we could see 43C in East Anglia next Sunday, which would obliterate the current UK record.

“At the moment we’ve got quite pleasant dry heat, but next weekend the dew point will rise and it will become very hot and sticky.”

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