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Summer programme of surface dressing underway

Parking, roads and transport

02 August 2022

A road that has been surface dressed

An extensive programme of ‘surface dressing’ road repairs is underway across North Northamptonshire.

The work - which runs from now to Friday 9 September – is weather dependant and is being carried out on behalf of North Northamptonshire Council by Highways, provides a cost-effective way of preserving and extending the life of highways in the area.

Surface dressing involves bitumen being sprayed on to the road surface and overlaid by chippings, which are rolled on to the surface. When the bitumen cools, it sets and holds the chippings to the surface of the road.

The carriageway is safe to drive on following application of the chippings. A mandatory speed limit of 20mph is put in place for the first few days, whilst the chippings bed in to reduce the risk of damage from loose chippings and for the safety of the public.

People are advised to drive slowly, keeping their distance and to avoid turning or braking sharply. Motorists should also not overtake at any time.

Loose chippings are swept away within 24 hours of the initial dressing and again within five days.

A heavy roller is used after initial treatment and the surface is usually fully embedded after around a week, due to the action of traffic moving across it.

Although the programme runs through into September, the actual surface dressing treatment will take please in August. Following the treatment, roads will be swept twice and road studs and markings will be reinstated. 

Where surface dressing is scheduled in residential areas, people will receive a letter through their door notifying them of when the work will take place at least two days in advance and asking them to move their vehicles off roads and paths. Advisory signs will also be placed in the streets giving times and dates of the work.

Vehicles whose presence is preventing or hindering the works taking place may be relocated to a nearby street. This will be carried out by an approved contractor and vehicles will be moved within the vicinity, with signs located on the street providing information.

Weather can impact the programme and dates may change, with people advised to check the on-site signs for the latest information and also go online where updates will be published.

I am delighted that we are able to announce another programme of surface dressing as this allows us to carry out repairs to large areas of the highway in a very cost-effective way.

This treatment seals and increases the texture of the surface of the road so that the surface is less susceptible to damage in the future. A good surface dressing treatment can last many years, providing a better surface for drivers and cyclists.

I would urge motorists to slow down on the newly laid surface to minimise the risk of the loose chippings flicking up and damaging other vehicles.

It’s also really important that people help us by moving their vehicles off the street where work is taking place in good time as that really helps get the best results in the most cost-effective way.
Cllr Graham Lawman, the council’s Executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets
Ensuring our highways network is in as good a condition as possible is a priority for the council and this innovative, cost-efficient solution is a great way of enhancing the structure of the roads.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

The latest information about highway works on the network in general can also be found online at One Network.

Additionally, updates will also be posted on Twitter @nnhighways