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Melting roads force councils to spray dust over highways

Soaring temperatures have forced local authority engineers to employ gritting machines to protect bituminous road surfaces from melting in this week's record temperatures.
Rather than spraying salt on the roads, the machines will spread crushed rock dust. In Durham, county council gritters are ready to 'dust' roads should it become necessary. In Staffordshire gritters have already been sent out to apply the rock dust and Cumbria County Council has a fleet of gritters ready to spread crushed rock dust to help protect road surfaces.Councillor David Sparks, Chairman of the Local Government Association Environment Board, said: 'Gritters on the road might seem a strange sight at this time of year when we are accustomed to seeing them during cold spells combating freezing roads. Strong sunshine can melt the tar used in any recent road surface dressing work so having gritters spread crushed rock dust is the best way to help protect road surfaces. The dust also helps protect vehicles from damage by putting a fine non-stick layer between the road and tyre.'Related links:Today's top stories

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