Somerset roads melt ‘like chocolate’ as extreme heatwave continues

Roads in Somerset have melted during recent warm weather. Credit: Somerset Council / Travel Somerset

Roads in Somerset are melting “like chocolate” as the heatwave continues in the South West.

A number of A and B roads in the county have been affected as surface temperatures surpassed 50 degrees Celsius this week.

Somerset Council said teams are being sent out on a daily basis to “stabilise” roads and monitor the situation.

The Met Office's first ever weather warning for extreme heat in the region is expected to remain in place until 22 July.

Whole sections of the tarmac have started to melt in the extreme heat. Credit: Somerset Council / Travel Somerset

‘Think of the Asphalt like chocolate’

Pictures posted on the authority’s dedicated travel account showed the extent of the damage, with whole sections of tarmac melting in the heat.

“The blistering heat has caused some roads to melt (yes, melt). We are doing all we can to protect the roads,” the council posted.

“We will continue to monitor the situation over the next few days.

“When this occurs, we send out a team to spread granite dust to absorb the soft bitumen and so stabilise the road surface.

“Think of the Asphalt like chocolate – it melts and softens when it’s hot and goes hard and brittle when it’s cold. As a result, it doesn’t maintain the same strength all year round.”

What roads have been affected?

  • B3224 from Luckwell Bridge to Thorne Lane (towards Exford)

  • A396 from Wheddon Cross to Thorne Lane (towards Dulverton)

  • A396 Avill Staight to Cowbridge (Timberscombe)