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Surface dressing and road repairs get underway across Aberdeenshire


By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council is to make a significant additional investment in roads improvements during the summer months ahead.

A programme of surface-dressing and a major effort to tackle potholes and other road defects has started in villages, towns and rural communities across the region.

Last year’s roads maintenance programme was suspended as frontline staff were redeployed to support critical services such as household waste collections and burials during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During that time, the public has continued to provide important information around potholes and emerging issues with the road network condition which the council has been carefully categorising depending on the severity of the defect.

Those posing an immediate danger to the public are inspected and actioned within 24 hours.

The lengthy spell of wintry weather also brought a range of challenges across Aberdeenshire, with an increasing number of emerging issues with the road network condition being reported.

Councillor Peter Argyle
Councillor Peter Argyle

Councillor Peter Argyle, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “We have all felt the challenges around the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact has been particularly felt by our Roads colleagues – many of whom were redeployed last year to support vital services such as waste collections and burials.

"We fully acknowledge that our roads maintenance programme was significantly hampered and that there have been more reports of potholes and other surface defects requiring attention.

“We are investing additional revenue to carry out these critical repairs during the summer, but it will take longer to complete.

"I would urge all motorists to please be patient as we undertake the very repairs you have quite rightly demanded and above all, please be respectful of our roads crews who are undertaking that vital work on your behalf.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads, Landscape Services and Waste Management, Philip McKay, added: “We appreciate that working on roads can cause some inconvenience to users, but I would ask that you bear with us as we carry out these essential repairs which deliver long-term benefits across our 3,500-mile roads network.

“We know that many of you enjoy a bit of light-hearted banter with our road crews when you pass which is normally great, but we must stress that while they continue to follow strict Covid safety procedures, they won’t be able to interact with you in the same way.”

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, it does require 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.

The council recognises some road users, such as motorcyclists, can find loose chips particularly challenging and other motorists are reminded to give these users space and time.

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.

Some patching work is also sometimes required, where badly cracked section of roads are repaired prior to surface dressing, and these works will also be taking place throughout the area.

Aberdeenshire Council regularly posts information on both its Facebook and Twitter feeds throughout the duration of the works to say where they will be taking place, which could help motorists plan their journeys to minimise any inconvenience.

The improvement programme is expected to last until September, depending on weather conditions.

You can report any road defects or street lighting faults online at https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/roadfaults/


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