Heatwave: road is ‘river of tar’, say residents

Roads melt in record temperatures
Roads melt in record temperatures

A labrador’s paws caked with tar and car tyres ruined with the gunge of melted tarmac are just some of the problems facing residents of a Co Armagh road.

Locals describe it as a ‘River of Tar’ on the Tarthlogue Road, Portadown and it is causing them serious inconvenience as the temperatures soar.

Year in year out, residents say they have begged the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to do bring the road into a usable state.

And it doesn’t have to be scorching hot for the road to melt, according to one local resident.

He said last year his brother visited his home in Tarthlogue Road with his labrador. “After going to a little run, the poor dog came back to the house with his paws covered in tarmac. His paws had to be specially treated by a veterinary surgeon and it was very painful for the dog and expensive for my brother.

“My wife came home from work and her car tyres were caked in tar and stones. You can’t walk on the road as your shoes would be destroyed.”

He revealed that last year, after complaints, the authorities came out and covered the road in quarry dust and again just this week. This is not the solution. I understand that we are not high on their list of priorities. We are not asking for a perfect asphalt road but just one that is usable.

“Residents here feel we are being fobbed off. We have been told that consultants are looking into it but - seven years later ... It is a massive inconvenience and is affecting our quality of life. It has got to the stage where we are discouraging people visiting us.”

A DfI spokesperson said: “Recent weather has led to a rise in road surface temperatures and with limited cooling at night, the bitumen in some roads has softened. The Department has been spreading fine dust/grit on the worst affected roads and will continue to do so as necessary. The situation is being monitored. Road users should continue to exercise due care and attention at all times. Problems with the roads can be reported at www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/report-pothole