Gritters in summer ? Fleet tries to save Wakefield’s melting roads as surface temperatures rise to more than 50 degrees

Gritters have been out on the city’s roads to try and stop them melting.

Monday, 22nd July 2013, 9:09 am
Wakefield council are 'gritting' the roads with hard stones to combat the intense heat. The road temperature is said to be 50 degrees. Graham West from the council.

Wakefield Council has deployed its fleet to spread a dust layer of hard stone to stabilise road surfaces.

The prolonged hot spell is causing some roads to melt as surface temperatures rise above 50 degrees.

Graham West Highways Manager said: “People will probably be very surprised to see gritters on the road at the height of summer but they are once again playing an important role in keeping the district’s roads safe for the people who use them.

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“General road surfacing materials are tested in laboratories and we know they will withstand temperatures up to 40 degrees. So with some roads hitting 54 degrees we are taking this proactive measure to help reduce the impact of the heat.

“The gritters are being used to spread a dust made from hard stone which absorbs the soft bitumen, and stabilises the surface of the road. We will continue to monitor the roads and once the weather cools we can carry out any other repair work that needs to be done.”

The last time Wakefield Council used gritters in the summer months was around six years ago. Other councils across the country are using the same tactic to save their roads.