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Road surface dressing works June 2017

Road surface works during June 2017

Surface dressing to selected roads

During June 2017 we’ll be surface dressing some roads in the borough.

What is surface dressing?

Surface dressing involves treating roads with a surface treatment of aggregate chippings and a bitumen emulsion to seal the surface layer of the material and maintain its condition. 

Will my street be surface dressed?

If your street is affected, you’ll be sent a letter (PDF document) from our contractors before the work starts. Signs will also be put up to indicate that works will be taking place. 


How long will the work take?

Each street takes 1 day to surface dress (although larger sites may take up to 2 days.)

Why are roads being surface dressed instead of resurfaced?

If roads didn't benefit from preventative surface dressing maintenance they would require replacement 3 or 4 times as often. Resurfacing roads causes increased traffic congestion and is much more expensive and time consuming.  

How do you decide which roads need surface dressing?

Some roads, that are in relatively good condition, will be treated with preventative maintenance treatments. Other roads will need much more extensive treatments and will be left until treatment can be prioritised for funding. 

Will affected roads need to be closed?

All sites within the road surface dressing programme (PDF document) will require a road closure, however this will be localised in areas where there is not the road width available to accommodate traffic passing the works operation. Diversions for these closures will be signed on site.

Who will be carrying out the works?

Our contractors, Hazel and Jefferies Limited will be carrying out the works. 

What can I do to help?

To help

  • Don't leave your vehicle on the road when work is due to start
  • Drive carefully and keep to the speed limit when ‘loose chippings’ signs are displayed. Avoid sudden braking or overtaking
  • Try not to walk on newly dressed roads until the surface has set
  • Remove your outdoor shoes before entering your home. (Taking these precautions will reduce the risk of bitumen and chippings getting into your home or vehicle. Bitumen can be removed from shoes, wheels and clothing by using turpentine or white spirit)

Will I still be able to get to my driveway while works take place?

In most cases you will be able to use your drive. You may need to wait for the workman to move equipment so you can enter your drive. If in doubt please park in a safe location and speak to the site foreman.

What if I am having a funeral, a delivery or moving house?

Please speak to the site foreman for advice. They will do their best to accommodate your needs.

Why was I not informed about the proposed works before you arrived on site? 

Signs are erected on site at least 14 days prior to works commencing. A leaflet containing further information is also delivered to properties that front the works. The short notice of the works is due to the process being so weather dependent, this  means in periods of changeable weather the planned start dates for the works can change several times. 

What happens after the works?

The new surface can be driven on almost immediately. Materials may get on to wheels or shoes after resurfacing and this can continue to happen for a few days.

Please take extra care to inspect your shoes etc., before entering your property or vehicle. There may be excess chippings on the road surface, however the road will be swept within 24 hours to remove excess chippings and on further occasions if necessary. Gullies and manholes will be raised to the new road surface level if necessary.

Road markings, including verified disabled parking bays, will be repainted as soon as possible.

Why are there so many loose stone chips?

We purposely lay more chips than required to ensure that the whole surface is covered and we don’t end up with bare patches. We leave the loose chips for a short period to be embedded by the action of traffic, after which any surplus chips are  swept clear.

Advisory speed limit signs are left out for a few days until most of the loose chips have been removed. This is both to protect the new dressing and to prevent damage to vehicles. Depending on the weather we may carry out additional sweeping or dusting to minimise the effect on traffic.

How is the damage risk to vehicles minimised? 

Warning signs are erected along with 20 mph advisory speed limit signs. As long as these are observed there should be no damage to vehicles.

A chip has damaged my windscreen, can I claim for the cost of repair or replacement?

We ensure that we fulfil the legal obligations of the highway authority by erecting signs and following procedure. As a result we are protected against claims of this nature.

How often is surface dressing required on roads?

This is dependent upon several factors. Ideally, a new carriageway will be surface dressed 3 times at intervals of between 10 and 15 years, followed by replacement after a further 10 to 15 years.

What are the benefits of surface dressing?

Surface dressing offers many advantages. Its done on roads that have been prepared first by being pre-patched. The advantages of surface dressing good road surfaces are as follows

  • It seals the road surface against ingress of water (which is known to be one of the major causes of asphalt pavement deterioration)
  • It arrests the deterioration of the road surface and underlying road pavement structure  
  • It restores the necessary level of skid resistance to the road surface with the resultant benefits of reduction in skid related traffic accidents   
  • Timely intervention will enable worn out road surfaces to last longer thereby increasing the time to when structural maintenance is required
  • It can help to reduce spray caused by vehicles travelling on wet road surfaces
  • Maximises the cost effectiveness of limited highway maintenance funds

Why have the cats eyes been removed on the road?

The cats eyes have been removed in preparation for surface dressing works in the future. Once the dressing has taken place, the road surface has settled and the section has been swept, the cats eyes will be replaced along with the road markings.

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