Completion of road surface dressing work across Bucks

Etnyre Chipper Spreader

Over the summer months, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) has been carrying out road surface dressing work at 27 locations across the county.

Surface dressing is an efficient and effective method for routine maintenance of road surfaces. It comes with many benefits, including forming a water resistant layer that makes the road less slippery, and therefore more skid resistant. Surface dressing also prevents the formation of potholes by stopping water – and in colder temperatures, ice – from seeping in and forming cracks, which would later develop into potholes.

Upon completion, Surface dressing sites have to be left for a week before we can return back to sweep the road, removing most of the loose chippings. Some loose chippings do remain until vehicles have pressed them into the surface.

TfB has worked in conjunction with its surfacing contractor Eurovia, using an innovative piece of equipment, the Etnyre Chipper Spreader, to carry out surface dressing this year. The machine has the capability to spread the treatment across a carriageway width of up to 6.1m – a 30% increase on the maximum width previously possible.

Using the Etnyre Chipper Spreader means that some of the more minor roads can be treated in one pass, minimising or even eliminating joints, which reduces road closure time and improves the effectiveness of treatment.

Transport for Buckinghamshire organised a site visit with famed anti-pothole campaigner, Mr Pothole. After spending a morning on site watching the Etnyre machine at work, asking team members different questions and even going for a little ride, Mr Pothole said:

“Thank you for letting me visit today. This was a great example of trying to get things right. I know you still have your challenges, but it was a pleasure to visit today. There are very professional, open and enthusiastic working relationships from the top down – a real example of partnership working with contractors and a structure in place to deliver from a network asset point. It just feels right!

“The Etnyre Chipper Spreader is a fantastic bit of kit! I loved the speed of the process. Being able to complete a road in one pass has so many advantages. Great team effort by Eurovia, very on the ball.

“I’m highways authorities’ biggest critic. However, TfB is trying to get things right. We just need far more government funding over the longer term. I’m sure it would make a massive difference to Bucks!”

County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Transport Member, Mark Shaw, said: “It was great to have Mr Pothole on site and show him some of the excellent work we’ve been doing across the County. As somewhat of a ‘pothole pro’, it was great to hear all the positive things he had to say about the work and hear some of his own ideas for improvement, which we will certainly consider for future works.”