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Dusting Of Melting Road Surfaces - July 15th 2005

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    The Motorcycle Action Group have been made aware that some of the country's roads were beginning to melt in the recent heat wave, and that in parts of County Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland councils have been sending out gritting lorries to spread crushed rock dust in an attempt to combat the problem.

    A Cumbria County Council Spokesman said: "A fine layer is being put down that will cling to the surface of the binder/bitumen."

    "The crushed rock dust is an improvement on the melting/greasy bitumen, and is the best solution we have at this point to a difficult situation."

    "We would ask you to urge your members to ride according to the conditions of the road."

    A spokesman from Durham County Council said: "We only spread the dust where necessary to address the problem of roads which have been found to be 'bleeding'. Obviously there are a limited number of options to address this situation and applying the dust, which adheres to the bitumen and effectively deadens it is both effective and relatively economical."

    "We consider all highway users when undertaking any maintenance and take the most appropriate action. Where roads are 'bleeding' they are a significant danger to all drivers but I would suggest specifically motorcyclists. Whilst I can agree that excess dust on a dry carriageway could be a hazard to motorcyclists, by managing where we apply the dust (only where it is needed) and in the correct quantity (only sufficient to deaden the bitumen and not too much to create a surplus hazard) it is considered that our actions are correct."

    MAG would urge all riders to take care on the roads in this hot weather and be aware of this additional hazard.