Anger over Preston road resurfacing which gave car 'a spray-coat'

A motorist says his wife’s car was left looking like it had been “pebbledashed” after he drove it along a newly-resurfaced road in Preston.

Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 11:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 12:07 pm

George Bailey believes the damage was done on the stretch of Blackpool Road that runs between Garstang Road and Sir Tom Finney Way, next to Moor Park.

He says he stuck to the temporary 20-mile-per-hour limit which was in force when he made the journey on Saturday evening, but then had to spend much of the rest of the weekend trying to get the vehicle cleaned up - and paying out for the pleasure - after it was left splattered with tar.

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REVEALED: Every road in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble that will be resurface...
The newly "surface-dressed" Blackpool Road, alongside Moor Park

“The car is gunmetal grey and it literally looked as if somebody had spray-coated it - both sides, all the alloys, it had just gone all over [it].

“I wasn’t aware of anything like chippings coming up, because I was going slowly. We’ve all gone a bit too quick over loose chippings and you hear them ping off the bodywork - but I was driving my wife’s car, it’s only a year old and I thought: I’m not going to to be stupid,” George explained.

Unfortunately, his caution did not spare his paintwork - and it seems like he was far from the only one to suffer the same fate on the busy route last weekend.

After repeated use of a car wash failed to blast off the bitchumen, George turned to a valeting service close to his home in Penwortham - and was told that around two dozen similarly-frustrated motorists had already sought help for their tar-soaked cars after driving along the same road.

George Bailey says the car he was driving was left showered in tar spalshes - including its alloy wheels

While 90 percent of his wife's car is once again looking its best, George says that several hours more work will be needed in an attempt to save the bespoke alloys on the Fiat 500 vehicle. He estimates that he will have ended up spending around £100 on putting all of the damage right.

“It’s just irritating - there were no signs other than the speed limit signs. Am I annoyed? Yes, because you don’t budget to spend that kind of money cleaning your car.

“It’s one of those things you could do without,” George added.

The Pristine Car Wash and Valeting Centre in Penwortham saw such a boost to its business over the weekend that it briefly ran out of the specialist fluid it uses to remove tar splashes from the vehicles of unsuspecting motorists.

Was the tar still too wet for the road to be reopened?

CJ - a staff member at the Leyland Road service - said that it was “common” to see an influx of custom whenever a road with heavy traffic use is resurfaced in the Preston area.

“A lot of people don't realise what’s on their car if it is black or dark-coloured. They bring it in for polishing, but then that shows up everything else - so if we ever see tar, we will always take it off.

“When you spray the tar remover on, that’s when you can see the difference it makes - you can see it all dripping off and then also on the cloth afterwards.

“When [the authorities] tar a new road, they just want to open it again as quickly as possible - whereas that’s not ideal for the cars driving along them.

Blackpool Road is one of dozens getting a fresh surface across Lancashire this year

“We see it as an injustice really - someone should be sent a bill. If your car is on your driveway and your next door neighbour is doing work on their house that makes a mess of it, you have the right to charge them - so why isn't it the same for the council?” CJ asks.

County Cllr Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said that the authority does rectify any problems caused by its road resurfacing activity.

"We work with our contractors to ensure they take reasonable precautions to avoid vehicles becoming splashed with tar - and on the rare occasion when this does happen, that they respond quickly and effectively to get it removed at no cost and further inconvenience to those affected.

"We have a programme of surface dressing throughout this summer, making a huge improvement to Lancashire's roads, however there is a small risk of these incidents when carrying out this treatment, often on busy roads where we need to keep traffic moving to avoid causing a lot of disruption to people's journeys.

"The tar can be completely removed from paintwork using the right treatment, and we would ask anyone who has been affected to contact us," County Cllr Edwards added.