Stone me, what a mess as new tar melts on A134

Puddles form the next day in ruts left my tyres lifting off the sticky chippings on the A134
Puddles form the next day in ruts left my tyres lifting off the sticky chippings on the A134

A mini-heatwave turned an attempt to resurface a main road into a sticky disaster last Thursday afternoon.

Motorists driving down the A134 south of Bury St Edmunds had their tyres coated in a gooey mess of tar and chippings as the high temperatures stopped tar setting.

Disabled driver Alan Rudman, 75, of Constable Road, Bury, was worried his tyres had been made illegal by being coated in so much tar. He said not only had the road chippings stuck to it, but when he pulled into a gravel car park, yet more stones had stuck.He said. “I can’t bend down to clean it off. It’s going to be such a labour intensive job it will cost as much as new tyres.”

Because he needed his car, he replaced his tyres next day.

Derek Woulds or Great Whelnetham complained: “It’s all over the tyres. Why, in their infinite wisdom, did they choose the hottest day of the year to put down chippings?”

The Road Surface Treatments Association says tar melts at about 50C but because road surfaces absorb heat, surface temperature can be different to air temperature, which was 31C that day.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said road surface temperature forecasts were checked but proved wrong on the southbound side where there was no tree cover, even though work stopped at 10.30am.

“It not only stopped that day’s tar setting, but melted the previous day’s” he said. “Anyone who has been affected by this can contact the county council and we will arrange for an engineer to remove the material. In almost all cases, this can be done easily and in the worst, we’ll take further action.”

The county’s tar removal help can be contacted at 0845 606 6171 or customer.service@suffolk.gcsx.gov.uk