Resurfacing programme for 2020 completed ahead of schedule

A multi-million pound programme to improve 140 miles of road across Somerset is now complete, weeks earlier than planned.

Somerset County Council works with contractors across the county to implement surface dressing; a highly effective maintenance technique for sealing a road, improving skid resistance and making road surfaces watertight.

This is vital, as it helps stop potholes forming and it prolongs the life of the road. It works by coating a structurally sound 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. However, this year the teams carried out prep works in advance and benefitted from good weather throughout, meaning the programme was completed by mid-June, in contrast to September of previous years. This was also achieved whilst adhering to Government social distancing rules to keep operatives and the public safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Surface dressing is crucial highway maintenance work used to stop potholes forming and keep Somerset’s roads safe.

“Used at the right time and in the right location, surface dressing can delay the need for more substantial repairs – great news for drivers and taxpayers. It is fantastic that this vital work has been completed well ahead of schedule.”

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 2019/20 invested £26.1m 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.