Teams on standby to protect road surfaces in extreme heat

Somerset County Council’s gritters will be mobilised to treat ‘melting’ road surfaces as the county prepares for extreme temperatures in the next few days.

With an Amber Weather Warning in place and Temperatures set to hit 29C this weekend and climbing to 35C early next week, road temperatures could become high enough for the asphalt to soften and melt. This makes the road surface unstable and potentially hazardous.

To remedy the problem Highways teams will be using two pre-loaded 18-tonne gritters to spread stone dust on melting and sticky roads – additional HGV drivers are on stand-by to ensure swift reaction. There are 60 tonnes of additional stone dust at depots in Dunball and Glastonbury.

The stone dust absorbs the soft bitumen and helps to stabilise the road.

Somerset’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Digital, Cllr Mike Rigby said:

“We’ll be monitoring the situation carefully and our teams are prepared and ready to head out to any trouble spots so they can be dealt with swiftly.

“If you do spot a problem please do call our contact centre immediately or if it’s at the weekend call 101 for Avon and Somerset Police they will relay the location to our teams.”

You can reach the contact centre on 0300 1232224.

If you’re travelling during the heatwave here are some key tips:

  • Carry plenty of water – enough to keep you hydrated if you hit delays.
  • If your trip is going to be a long one plan plenty of rest breaks into your journey; we recommend a 20-minute break for every two hours driving.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey – check fuel, lights, oil, water, electrics and tyres!

Somerset County Council looks after 4,172 miles of road and in 2021/22 invested £25.4m to keep the county moving.

If you spot a problem on the road you can report it quickly and easily by visiting

For updates on traffic and travel follow @travelsomerset on Twitter and Facebook.

Submitted by Communications