West Suffolk: Motorists feel heat as soaring temperatures melt re-laid road

The resurfaced stretch of the A134 between Bury and Sicklesmere

The resurfaced stretch of the A134 between Bury and Sicklesmere - Credit: Archant

Suffolk county council has been inundated with complaints from motorists caught up in roadworks on the hottest day of the year.

Drivers negotiating a stretch of the A134 between Bury St Edmunds and Sicklesmere suffered cracked windscreens, hot tar stuck to their tyres and chipped paintwork as the newly laid road surface melted in the heat.

The highways authority has set up a hotline to deal with the complaints and has pledged to remedy damage caused by the road works.

A spokesman for the county council said engineers had planned for the works to take place over two days including last Thursday, when the mercury soared to more than 30 degrees.

He said: “During a routine piece of road surfacing on the A134, our contractors encountered a problem whereby the higher than forecast road surface temperatures caused the binding material and chippings to remain sticky.

“The consequence of this was that some of the material used stuck to cars.”

A 20mph speed restriction was imposed but according to the spokesman, the problem was exacerbated by motorists not sticking to the limit.

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One driver caught up in the road works said: “Even if you stick to 20mph, other people don’t. In my case, I heard a bang as something hit the windscreen and then when I looked at the car the following day, there was a 2ft 6inch crack right across it.

“It seems like the council simply threw loads of stones on the road and left the job of steam rolling it to motorists.”

Another driver added: “It wasn’t a question of speed because you couldn’t drive fast in that situation. There was so much spray coming up from the road and I was really concerned about my tyres, which had hot tar on them and stones embedded in the tracks.”

According to the council spokesman, once the contractors became aware of the situation, they applied a layer of limestone dust to the new road surface, which limited any further problems occurring.

He added: “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 cases, we’ll take further action to rectify the situation.”

The number to ring is 0845 6066171 or email customer.service@suffolk.gcsx.gov.uk