Meltdown as heatwave lands drivers in wheelie sticky mess

Longridge Road where resurfacing caused problems

Longridge Road where resurfacing caused problems

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MOTORISTS went into meltdown after road workers resurfaced a busy highway on the hottest day for years.

Tyres were left crusted in chippings as disbelieving drivers took the new topping home with them.

“It was just like my van wheels were covered in hundreds and thousands,” said roofer Stephen Melling. “Just whose idea was it to resurface the road on a day like that? Whoever was responsible, it was a pretty bad call.”

Lancashire County Council has now issued a public apology and offered to clean any cars affected.

Workmen moved in to repair a section of Longridge Road, Preston, on Tuesday as temperatures soared to 29C.

But as they laid a coating of bitumen and then covered it in stone chippings, the surface refused to set, leaving a sticky top coat which stuck to vehicle tyres.

“I drove along there – slowly – and when I turned onto my drive my wheels were coated in stones,” said Stephen who lives along the problem stretch of Longridge Road. “I wasn’t the only one. There were scores of vehicles whose wheels were just the same.

“People were going mad that when they drove onto their drives they brought part of the road surface with them. I live along that stretch and I couldn’t believe they were resurfacing on a day like that. It was common sense it wasn’t going to set in that heat.

“And if the damage to tyres and drives isn’t bad enough, the road surface is even more rutted than it was before. They are obviously going to have to come back and do it all again.”

Ridwan Musa, LCC’s highways manager, said: “We’re very sorry for the damage that was caused to vehicles.

“A team will be available at our Cuerden depot to wash any vehicles affected using specialist cleaning materials which should be effective at removing the bitumen.

“Following this incident we suspended resurfacing activities until the temperatures dropped.”

The cleaning team will be available today (7.45am-3.15pm) and tomorrow( 8am-12pm).

• The heatwave sparked spectacular lightning strikes as storms rumbled over Lancashire this week. See page 19 for pictures captured by readers.