Surface dressing for 2019 now complete

A multi-million pound programme to improve nearly 150 miles of road across Somerset is now complete as our teams fought through searing heat and stormy conditions alike over the summer.

Surface dressing is a maintenance technique recognised across the country for sealing a road, improving skid resistance and making road surfaces watertight.

This is crucial, as it helps stop potholes forming and it prolongs the life of the road. It works by coating an existing road with bitumen, covering it with stone chippings and then rolling it.

The process is highly weather dependent and can often be delayed due to rain or cold temperatures. This year, the teams endured damp spells in early June but took advantage of warmer temperatures later in July to ensure the 2019 programme was completed on time.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Surface dressing is a vital highway maintenance treatment used to keep the County’s roads safe and well-maintained.

“Used at the right time and in the right location, surface dressing can be just as effective as resurfacing. It is necessary preventative work and without it we’d be carrying out far more costly and disruptive works more regularly.”

More details on surface dressing, including frequently asked questions can be found at You can also stay up to date on roadworks and traffic conditions by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter.

Somerset County Council looks after more than 4,170 miles of road and in 2018/19 invested £24.7m to keep the county moving, including filling 18,519 potholes and delivering 385 highway maintenance schemes ranging from drainage works to carriageway and footway resurfacing.