WORK is starting on repairing and upgrading 350 miles of roads across North Yorkshire to guarantee them for the next ten years.

£10m is being invested in improving stretches of road as part of North Yorkshire county council’s annual surface dressing programme. Letters will be delivered to residents who will be affected by the work with information boards erected in areas where resurfacing is due to take place.

This year’s programme is under way but is dependent on weather conditions. In the past five years 1,800 miles of the county’s 5,800 miles of road have been treated. Surface dressing is used by highways as a low cost alternative to resurfacing which is more expensive and causes more disruption. The council says it offers added protection to carriageways as well as enhancing the skid resistance, making it safer to drive on.

The system involves bitumen being sprayed on the roads which are covered in chippings which are rolled to embed them. Traffic is then allowed onto the road to help embed the chippings further. A strict 20mph limit is imposed to prevent damage and allow the surface to stabilise. Loose chippings are swept to remove loose ones once the bitumen is set with another sweep carried out after seven days to take off any remaining loose chippings.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “Maintaining the county’s extensive road network for residents, businesses and visitors is among our highest priorities.

“Surface dressing enables us to do more with the money we have available. It is comparatively low-cost at a fifth of the price of resurfacing, so we can treat a much larger proportion of the road network each year, preventing the need for much more expensive work later. It is also a quick process, so minimises inconvenience to local residents and motorists.”

Information on surface dressing and roadworks is at