Road surfacing

We maintain 1,400km of roads in the county using three main types of surface treatment (described below). We assess the condition of the road and choose the best approach for each case. We may need to close the road or put temporary traffic management in place to keep road users and the workforce safe.

Resurfacing work can be done throughout the year, but it can be affected by cooler temperatures, which can delay the work or make it take longer to complete. Treatments like micro-surfacing and surface dressing are more affected by bad weather, so we generally do this work between April and September.

You can see the works we have planned on our roads surfacing programme page.


This is the traditional method of resurfacing the road and usually involves removing the existing road surface and then laying new tarmacadam. Where possible, we will overlay the existing surface so as to reduce waste. The type of product used is based on the condition of the existing road surface, the amount of traffic and the skid-resistance requirements for the section of road. Currently we are exploring more carbon reduction / neutral options for the future.


Micro surfacing (also referred to as ‘micro asphalt’) is a ‘surface treatment’ for roads. It is laid over the top of the existing surface to seal and restore the profile of the road surface whilst also helping to prevent further deterioration. The finished surface has a smoother profile, free of minor depressions and other dips. This is a very different process and looks extremely messy at first, but it is tried and tested and does give a long-lasting and cost effective result.


  • It's quick to apply, reducing traffic disruption
  • It's a cost-effective way of extending the life of the road
  • It protects the pavement structure from moisture and further deterioration

Surface dressing

Surface dressing is a cost-effective way of preventing further deterioration of the road surface, which avoids the need for much more expensive repair works in later years. It is also excellent at improving the skid resistance of worn out surfaces. In recent years the process has been enhanced by adding a final layer of bitumen, which has the added benefit of improving the appearance of the road.

The work relies upon warm, dry weather so work is usually carried out between April and September.


  • It's relatively quick - 1km of road can be completed in about two hours, reducing traffic delays
  • It's more environmentally friendly by re-using materials wherever possible
  • It's up to three to four times cheaper than alternative ways of maintaining a road and ten times more cost-effective than conventional resurfacing
  • It can prolong the life of a road by over ten years