Surface dressing work is carried out each year between May and July in Aberdeenshire. This process is applied to roads in good condition or stretches that have been recently patched. It seals the existing surface from the ingress of water, increases the skid resistance and extends the life of the road.
Surface dressing is is a highly effective form of maintenance and is widely used by all local authorities.
The surface dressing process involves applying bitumen on the road and covering it with a layer of stone chips. The dressing is then rolled, which together with the actions of slow moving traffic, embeds the stone chips into the surface. The excess of chips is swept up within a couple of days.
After this initial sweep the road surface looks and performs a lot better and there are fewer areas of loose chips and very little areas of unset bitumen. As further sweeps are undertaken the surface improves even further.
We receive many complaints during this period, largely due to drivers driving too fast for conditions. There is a 20mph speed limit and signage on the road until the surface has been swept sufficiently to remove the excess of loose chips.
The speed limits are in place for the safety of both members of the public and the operatives on site. During and after the works there are a lot of loose chips. Speeding vehicles can cause skidding and also chips to be thrown up causing injury or damage to people and other vehicles. These limits are enforceable by Police Scotland.