Call for vigilance on the roads this summer as improvement programme gets underway

A summer programme of road improvement is due to start across Aberdeenshire from next week (w/b May 9) and motorists are being warned of the risks of loose chips on newly-dressed roads.

Surface dressing is used as an effective and cost-efficient way to further the lifespan of roads and improve the quality of damaged carriageway.

The technique of laying hot bitumen followed by chippings works to seal the road surface and also provides better grip for vehicles.

However, surface dressing requires motorists to take extra care and reduce speed when passing over treated sections of carriageway as there is a short-term heightened risk of skidding.

To ensure no bare patches are left, more chips are laid than are required for the finished job.

Although the newly-dressed road is mechanically swept a number of times after being treated, it takes several days for chips to embed fully into the bitumen.

Traffic passing slowly over a newly-dressed road helps to speed up this process, but when motorists exceed speed restrictions loose chips can prove hazardous.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads and Landscape Services, Philip McKay, said: “Warning signs advising of surface dressing works are always erected prior to work starting, and remain in place for several days after the work has been carried out.

“While it sometimes may appear that a road is clear and suitable for normal use, there may still be loose chippings to watch out for, so I would urge road users to always adhere to advisory signs and drive at the appropriate speed.

“Driving at excessive speed over loose chippings can cause spinning and skidding, as well as chipping to windscreens and paintwork. I would urge road users to drive at the advised speed limit to avoid any accidents.”

The council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Stephen Archer, said: “Surface dressing is often carried out while the road is still open to traffic, so I would strongly advise motorists to take extra care when out on Aberdeenshire’s roads this summer.

“Road users should always bear in mind that a roads crew could be carrying out surface dressing works just around the next corner – we want you and our colleagues to stay safe while we’re improving the roads network.”

Aberdeenshire Council intends to post daily information on its Twitter and Facebook feeds throughout the duration of the works to say where they will be taking place, which could help motorists avoid worksites and any inconvenience.

More information on temporary road closures and restrictions in Aberdeenshire can be found on our website.

You can report any road defects or street lighting faults on Aberdeenshire's roads by phone on 03456 081205, by text to 07624 802 722 or online.