Surface Dressing

Surface dressing is a process that provides added protection to the carriageway surface (sealing it from the ingress of water) while also enhancing its skid resistance. This added protection can extend the life of the carriageway surface by up to 10 years.

The process entails spraying the road with bitumen and covering it with stone chippings.  The dressing is then rolled, which together with the actions of slow moving traffic, embeds the stone chips into the surface.

Current Programme

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Please be aware that scheduled work may be subject to change at short notice as surface dressing is largely weather dependent.

What to Expect

Most roads that are being treated will not be subject to formal road closures, but vehicles will be subject to traffic management including stop/go or convoy working and long delays on some sites should be anticipated.  Traffic control is necessary for the safety of road users and that of the workforce.

Mandatory and advisory speed restriction signs and slippery road signs will also be in place and drivers are urged to keep to the advised speed limit for safety reasons and in order to prevent damage to their own vehicle or to the newly laid road surface.

In urban areas advisory signs will be erected in advance of the works taking place. We would be grateful if you would refrain from parking on the road from 7am to 6pm on the day of the work. The clearer the road, the quicker the job will be finished.

There will be some loose chippings on the surface for a while following the work.  The first sweep of these chippings will generally take place within 48 hours with subsequent sweepings carried out as necessary.  Please take extra care during this period, as this is the time that ‘flying’ stone chippings can cause broken windscreens or damaged paintwork on cars.  Loose chippings can also create the effect of a slippery road, with an increased risk of vehicles losing control.  These problems can be avoided if drivers keep their speed well down, keep a good distance from the vehicle in front and do not attempt to overtake.

Every effort will be made to minimize disruption during the surface dressing process.  If you need to gain access to your property at any time during the surface dressing process, please ask a member of staff on site for assistance.

Things to be aware of

During the early life of the surface dressing:

  • The bitumen used can become soft again during very warm weather.
  • Bitumen and chippings could be picked up on footwear, wheelchairs, pushchairs, pets’ paws and carried into houses. The removal of bitumen is difficult and may result in
    permanent marking on your driveway and internal floors or carpets.

The carriageway is safe to drive on following application of the stone chippings, provided speeds remain below 20mph.  For your safety and the safety of others, please drive slowly, keep your distance, avoid turning or braking sharply and do not overtake. 

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