The end of summer sees the completion of the largest surface dressing programme in Somerset County Council’s history.
Surface dressing is a nationally-recognised maintenance technique for sealing a road, improving skid resistance and preventing water getting under the surface. As winter approaches, this is crucial to help stop potholes forming.
This year’s programme included more than 200 roads across the county, including the A30, A37 and A396, and has helped protect more than 300km of highway against deterioration – that’s further than the driving distance from Taunton to Nottingham.
Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re committed to maintaining our highways to the best possible standards with the funding we have available and this means using a range of different techniques for different situations.
“Surface dressing can sometimes receive criticism because initially it leaves loose chippings on the surface, but it has big benefits.
“By surface dressing an old road we can significantly extend its life for a fraction of the price of resurfacing and usually without the need for disruptive road closures.
“This year’s programme was our most ambitious yet and I’m pleased we have been able to protect so many roads before the onslaught of winter.”
Surface dressing involves coating an existing road with bitumen, covering it with stone chippings and then rolling it. It differs from resurfacing which sees layers of the old road surface removed before it is then replaced with new material.