The county council’s surface dressing programme is now under way
The county council’s surface dressing programme is now under way

Surface dressing will give longer life to miles of road

30 April 2019

Almost 350 miles of road across North Yorkshire will have its life extended by up to ten years thanks to the county’s annual surface dressing programme.

Each year, North Yorkshire County Council invests more than £10m in improving stretches of the county’s 5,800 miles of roads with its surface dressing programme during spring and summer. In the past five years, this has seen almost 1,800 miles of road treated.

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

Maintaining the county’s extensive road network for residents, businesses and visitors is among our highest priorities.

Surface dressing enables us to do more with the money we have available. It is comparatively low-cost at a fifth of the price of resurfacing, so we can treat a much larger proportion of the road network each year, preventing the need for much more expensive work later. It is also a quick process, so minimises inconvenience to local residents and motorists.

Surface dressing is 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.

It is important that traffic is allowed onto the new surface because chippings need traffic to embed them fully into the road. However, it is also important that drivers keep to the speed limit to allow the surface to stabilise and to avoid damage to their vehicles. That is why a 20mph speed limit is in place during the early life of the dressing. The surface is left for seven days then any residual chippings can be swept up before road markings are repainted.

This year’s programme is now under way. Information boards will be erected in the areas where work is to take place and letters will be delivered to affected properties. The work is subject to weather conditions.

For more information about surface dressing, including what to expect and what to do if surface dressing takes place on your street, visit

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