Gritters may be out in Harlow due to heatwave

News / Thu 28th Jun 2018 at 09:41am

By Local Democracy Reporter
Piers Meyler

ESSEX Highways says gritters may be used to protect the county’s roads as rising temperatures threaten to melt the surface.

Inspectors are checking the roads every day for any signs that the county’s roads are starting to melt during what is expect to be a ten-day long ‘Spanish blowtorch’ heatwave to possibly send temperatures soaring as high as 33C.

The department added that although it was not anticipating that gritters will have to be used, they are ready to be deployed if need be.

An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “We can use gritters to lay a fine sandy dust on areas where the bitumen (the oily tar in the road surface) starts to melt and separate due to extreme heat.

“We have inspectors out on our roads every weekday to report any problems, but if anyone sees a road like this, please do report it online via essex.gov.uk/highways or in an emergency call us on 0345 603 7631.”

Essex could be hotter than the Sahara desert this week as Britain prepares for the first of eight heatwaves predicted this summer.

The ten-day long ‘Spanish blowtorch’ heatwave will send temperatures soaring as high as 33C from Wednesday (June 27), which could beat the record as the hottest day of the year so far.

The temperatures could mean that roads starts to melt leaving the council with a costly repair bill.

Asphalt begins to soften at 27C according to the AA, leaving it it soft and sticky, which can lead to imperfections such as bulges and cracks.

Britain may be matching Nouakchott, Mauritania on the edge of the Sahara Desert, by the middle of the week, where temperatures are set to be around 31C on Wednesday.

The hottest day so far this year came in April when a temperature of 29.1C was recorded in London.

Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans said: “We would expect at some point this week to beat that.

“We are going to continue with the dry and sunny weather for most places. Top temperatures are going to be on the rise.

“We could see temperatures into the low 30s some time this week, possibly from Tuesday, but more likely from Wednesday.”

Categories: Transport
Authorities: Essex County Council
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