An extensive roads surface dressing programme has been completed by North Yorkshire County Council.
By the end of August the County Council, in partnership with its contractor Ringway, will have surface dressed around 400 miles of road in a process which combines bitumen with chippings.
The County Council is typically spending £65 million a year on road maintenance, significantly more than in the past. The additional money comes from a £44m pot being spent between 2014-21 to bring more of the road network up to scratch, particularly across rural areas.
The £44m is made up of £20m of the local authority’s own money and £24m from a successful and innovative joint capital bid with East Riding to the Local Growth Fund, linking the maintenance of the rural road network with economic growth. This was the first bid nationally to the Local Growth Fund for capital funding to be spent on road maintenance.
North Yorkshire has a much higher percentage of rural roads than most areas. They account for almost 75% of the county’s road network, compared to 29% in a typical local authority.
This year the County Council has spent an estimated £12.7m on surface dressing, around £650,000 more than last year and on more miles than ever, up five per cent on last year’s extensive programme which was already more than in previous years.
“Our additional funding for roads is about vital support for economic growth, supporting business and keeping communities and the economy on the move,” said Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for highways.
“Surface dressing also helps to keep roads safe, improving skid resistance. In more urban, densely populated areas and on estate roads we are also now using a system called lock-chip, which binds the chippings to improve safety.
“In addition, we aim to complete this programme every year before autumn when the weather deteriorates. This minimises costs and improves the life of the material.”