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Surface dressing

Surface dressing

What is surface dressing?

Surface dressing is the application of hot bitumen and stone chippings onto the road’s surface. It is very widely used and a low cost and effective method of highway maintenance. Bitumen is sprayed onto the road and one or more layers of stone chippings are put on top. As the bitumen sets the chippings stick to the road surface. A roller is used to help the chippings stick.

The road is swept shortly after the chippings have been laid to remove any loose chippings. The road is then swept a few days later and again after a few weeks to remove excess chippings.

The bitumen stops water getting into the road’s foundations and the chippings restore skid resistance to improve road safety. The appearance of the road is also improved.

Surface dressing cannot repair an uneven road. If the foundations of the road have collapsed it will be necessary to resurface or reconstruct the road.

One advantage to surface dressing is that traffic can be allowed to run on the surface almost immediately, without the need for lengthy closures and disruption.

Drivers must drive slowly on newly treated roads to prevent chippings being dislodged or thrown up to cause damage to other vehicles.

We will:

  • Give advance notice of work to residents;
  • Provide advisory and warning signs (loose chippings) from the start of the work until the road can be used normally;
  • Sweep roads and footways to remove loose chippings;
  • Minimize disruption and hazards from traffic;
  • Make sure all complaints are investigated and appropriate action taken.

What you can do:

  • Make sure vehicles are not left on roads that are to be treated;
  • Avoid deliveries and inviting visitors whilst the work in going on;
  • Contact the council on 01724 297000 if you have any difficulties with any of this;
  • Keep your speed low on recently treated roads;
  • Never overtake on newly treated roads.

If you wish to report a problem please use our online form.

Report a problem with our roads

Contact details


Customer Call Centre

01724 297000

North Lincolnshire Council
8-9 Billet Lane
Normanby Enterprise Park
DN15 9YH

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm

Friday 8.30am to 4pm

Last updated: 22/07/2015