Gritters take to the streets of Central Bedfordshire - as temperatures reach 40C this week

Don’t worry, you’re not delusional from the heat

By Lynn Hughes
Monday, 18th July 2022, 2:56 pm

If you see a gritter out on the Central Bedfordshire roads today, don’t worry the heat hasn’t sent you crazy and snow is not expected!

Usually, Central Bedfordshire Council’s fleet of gritters can be seen keeping the roads safe from snow and ice in the colder months, but this week it’s the extreme heatwave that has seen their drivers pick up the keys to the gritters again.

A national red alert has been issued by the Met Office and temperatures in the area are predicted to reach a high of over 40C this week and this could affect the condition of the road surface. When road temperatures become too hot with the surface exceeding 50C they can begin to melt and cause damage.

The gritters will be out this week

But spreading a light dusting of crushed stone, instead of salt, helps soak up excess tar and reduces the likelihood of road surfaces melting, helping to keep the roads open and protected from damage which then may have to be repaired.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Service, said: “Our road surfaces are resilient, but the temperatures predicted are unprecedented in this country. Highly used routes can begin to suffer when the temperatures are high for a long period of time.

“By proactively using our fleet of highways gritters to protect our roads this will aim to reduce the extremely high road surface temperatures and keep the road network safe and moving.”

Residents can report any highways issues via the council website FixMyStreet.