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The A14 is melting: Police issue warning as ridge develops on carriageway in Cambridgeshire





Tarmac on the A14 has warped in the extreme heat - and prompted police to urge adventurous drivers not to use it as a ramp.

Highways East was this evening (Monday) on site on the westbound carriageway at Bottisham, enforcing a road closure while the surface was assessed.

The ridge that developed on the A14 westbound at Bottisham in the extreme heat of July 18, 2022. Picture: BCH Road Policing Unit
The ridge that developed on the A14 westbound at Bottisham in the extreme heat of July 18, 2022. Picture: BCH Road Policing Unit

Beds, Cambs and Herts Road Policing Unit tweeted: “Please approach with caution. Whilst this ramp may seem appealing to the more adventurous of you, it’s proving to be hazardous and may result in a closure.”

One commentator on Twitter asked: “Is this now officially the biggest hill in Cambridgeshire?”

Tarmac is very strong while solid, but can begin transitioning back to a liquid at higher temperatures.

It can soften and melt, causing the road surface to develop ridges like this and become sticky.

This typically only affects the top layer, which is about three to five centimetres thick.

As materials used vary, the temperature at which this happens varies too, but it is usually when the surface reaches about 50C.

Gritters have been put on standby in Cambridgeshire in case they need to begin spreading to help keep the roads safe.



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