Gritters ready to keep traffic moving as red weather warning issued for Hampshire and the South East

A gritter is loaded with sand as it prepares to treat road surfaces. Credit: ITV Meridian

Gritters are to take to major roads across Hampshire this week to keep traffic moving, as hot weather threatens to damage the region's infrastructure.

Usually associated with freezing conditions, the gritters will spread a 'light dusting' of sand on to tarmac surfaces - to maintain the integrity of the road.

By using sand, rather than the traditional salt, the process acts like a sponge to soak up excess liquids and prevent surfaces from melting.

Hampshire County Council said the process will keep 'Hampshire moving'.

Hampshire Highways gritter, Spread Sheeran, is made ready as hot temperatures continue to threaten infrastructure.

Posting on Twitter the authority wrote: "With even hotter weather to come this week, our gritters are ready to go to keep Hampshire moving.

"Where needed, they’ll be spreading light dustings of sand, which acts like a sponge to soak up excess bitumen."

"The areas most likely to be affected are older surfaces which are exposed, generally in more rural locations, and south facing."

A gritter is loaded with salt in Bishops Waltham during the winter months. Credit: PA

The decision comes as people across the South East are being urged to look out for others as temperatures soar into the 30s this week.

A Level 3 Heat- Health Alert has been issued by the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which means sustained day temperatures of at least 31 degrees celsius.

The alert will be in place from 9am this morning (Monday 11 July) until 9am on Friday July 15.

The UKHSA recommends drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding excess alcohol, avoiding physical exertion during the hottest part of the day, and taking special care to check in on the vulnerable and the elderly who find the heat particularly challenging.