High temperatures give rise to melting roads

Contractors, farmers and other road-users in certain areas around Ireland are noticing road conditions deteriorating and travel conditions becoming more of a challenge, as the heatwave begins to take its toll on Irish roads.

Speaking to AgriLand, independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has warned people to be careful when travelling.

Fitzmaurice, who is a farmer, contractor and turf-cutter and represents the Roscommon-Galway constituency, said that he is aware of some tractor drivers having encountered difficulty as road chippings began to stick to the wheels of their vehicle.

He explained: “Tar is easily displaced where farmers are drawing silage in and out of gaps with heavy machinery.”

Fitzmaurice believes the melted roads will have no major effect on a vehicle’s tyres but warned all road-users to drive with caution, particularly when the rain returns as roads will be slippy.

“The council in my own area have been out to ‘tar and chip’ areas that were severely damaged. It’s not the council’s fault; it’s not the farmer’s fault; it’s just the Irish weather and that’s it,” he outlined.

He concluded by adding: “I would much rather the weather this way, with the sun splitting the stones, than it lashing rain on top of us and not being able to work in the fields.”

Contractor challenge

David O’Heney was operating a round baler for a contractor in west Tipperary when he spoke to AgriLand about the severity of the same issue.

O’Heney outlined that in his area the effect is being seen “not so much on main roads; it is more so the case on secondary roads”.

The baler man noted: “It could well have knock-on consequences on road surface quality next winter, as busy secondary roads in some areas are really breaking up.

“Although the displaced tar will effect the roads, it is not severe enough to rub-off and effect the silage or hay crop [in the field],” O’Heney reassured AgriLand.