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Choosing the right road surface

Our road treatment programme is in place to help maintain the County’s roads to a safe and serviceable level. This will ensure adequate skid resistance, help minimise road traffic accidents and reduce the need for expensive structural maintenance.  We use three treatment types; conventional resurfacing, microsurfacing, and surface dressing.

When roads have been chosen for resurfacing they are prioritised and the appropriate treatment is chosen. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to road surfacing, with several options available to extend the lifespan of a road:

Conventional resurfacing – The most costly way of renewing a road surface, which is carried out when the surface of the road has badly deteriorated. It involves cutting out (‘planing’) the old surface before inlaying the void with a hot bituminous material to create a smoother and more durable road surface. Depending on the length of road being treated, the works can take can take several days or nights to complete under a full road closure. Generally, given the right conditions, the lifespan of a new inlaid surface is well over ten years.

Approximate cost per square metre: £29 - £59

Plane and Patch – The same method as inlay resurfacing but carried out on smaller, localised areas of damaged road surface. It can be used to treat larger areas of road than can be done by individual pothole repair, more efficiently and cost effectively, and can range from a short length up to several metres. 

Approximate cost per square metre: £30 - £40

Surface Dressing – The most cost-effective way of extending the life of a road where the surface has not already deteriorated too far, putting off the need for full conventional resurfacing.  Surface dressing involves spraying the road with a coating of hot bitumen followed by a covering of stone chippings which are then rolled into the bitumen.The refreshed surface can give the road an extra seven years of life.

Approximate cost per square metre: £6 - £12

Microsurfacing – A thin, tough layer of asphalt emulsion blended with finely crushed stone applied to a road surface to seal any minor irregularities, and provide a protective coat that can extend the life of roads and pavements. The new surface is ready for use just hours after application and can last up to seven years.

Approximate cost per square metre: £10 - £16

All costs/m2 quoted will vary on a site to site basis, depending on the overall square meterage of the site and of the sizes of the individual patches within it.  Life expectancies listed are the average time before significant further maintenance intervention might be expected.

Surface dressing and micro surfacing normally require varying amounts of patching or localised reconstruction work before the treatment is applied, this can affect the overall cost/m2 significantly.

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