Gritters spread stone dust to soak up tar as 40C heatwave melts UK highways

A fleet of gritters have hit the roads to spread stone dust to soak up the tar which is at risk of melting in the scorching heat.

The vehicles, usually used to spread grit to stop roads icing over in winter, have been refitted during the history-making heatwave.

Warwickshire County Council deployed the gritters to spray the main roads across the region as temperatures soared to a blistering 40C (104F).

Typical road surfaces start to melt if the air temperature hits 30C (86F).

A light-dusting of stone dust soak up excess tar like a sponge, limiting the chances of road surfaces melting.

Councillor Wallace Redford, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning, said: “Our gritting fleet does a fantastic job keeping Warwickshire’s residents safe and the network running throughout the winter months.

“Many residents may be surprised to see them out at the height of summer, but their work at this time of year, preventing costly damage to the roads of Warwickshire is no less important than their cold-weather work and all contributes to ensuring our residents are supported through excellent transport infrastructure.”