Surface dressing under way to help preserve roads in the district

A programme of surface dressing is taking place this month to maintain and protect roads in the Harrogate borough and Richmondshire.

Each year, the county council improves stretches of the county’s 9,000km of roads with a summer programme of surface dressing.



Surface dressing offers a quick, efficient and cost-effective way of maintaining skid-resistant and waterproof road surfaces, helping to prevent deterioration. It involves spraying bitumen onto the road surface then covering it with a layer of chippings. The process can extend the life of a road by up to ten years.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said:

We know surface dressing is not popular with some drivers, mainly because of the loose chippings, which are an inevitable part of the process. However, the speed of the operation and its longer-term benefits – as well as the short time motorists are inconvenienced – are important factors.

The process is comparatively low-cost at just a fifth of the price of resurfacing, which means we can treat a much larger proportion of the road network each year, preventing the need for much more expensive work later.

Loose chippings may initially be a problem and that’s why we put in place a 20mph speed limit during the early life of the dressing. It is important that traffic is allowed onto the new surface because chippings need traffic to fully push them into the road. However, it is important that drivers keep to the speed limit to allow the surface to stabilise and avoid damage to their vehicles.

After dressing, the new surface is left for seven days to allow the chippings to embed, after which any residual chippings can be swept up before road markings are repainted.

This year’s programme includes roads at locations across many parts of Harrogate borough, including Harrogate, Boroughbridge, Pannal, South Stainley, North Stainley, Grewelthorpe, Hutton Conyers and other villages.

In Richmondshire, the locations include Richmond, Scorton, Brompton-on-Swale, the A684 between Wensley and Leyburn and various locations in the Upper Dales.

The locations and closures are on the interactive map at www.northyorks.gov.uk/roadworks. Information boards have been erected in the areas where work is to take place and letters will be delivered to affected properties. The work will be subject to weather conditions.


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