£7million roadworks programme to prevent potholes to begin

Oxfordshire County Council and its contractor Milestone Infrastructure Ltd will be visiting more than 50 towns and villages between April 8 and June 3 to carry out surface dressing work.

Around one million square metres of carriageway will be treated, making it the biggest programme of its kind undertaken in Oxfordshire for at least 20 years.

Surface dressing involves applying bituminous emulsion on to the road as a binder.

This is followed immediately by the application of chippings.

This seals the road surface to keep out water, one of the major causes of deterioration and potholes.

It is also quick and minimises traffic disruption and congestion as large areas of roads – up to 100,000 square metres – can be treated in a single day.

Bill Cotton, Oxfordshire County Council’s Corporate director for environment and place, said: “We know how important the quality of our roads is to our residents and this significant programme of work will help keep many miles of highways in a better condition for years to come.

“Surface dressing is one of the most cost-effective methods of roads maintenance and spring is the best time to start this programme of work.

“We would urge motorists to watch out for notifications of the work taking place and to drive carefully after it has been carried out.”

An advisory speed limit of 20mph will be put in place after works are done until all warning signs have been removed.

Richard Lovewell, business director for Milestone’s Oxfordshire contract, said: “We’re proud to be embarking on Oxfordshire’s biggest programme of this kind in 20 years.

“Surface dressing is one of the best and most cost-efficient and sustainable way to extend the life of our county’s roads.”

The programme is part-funded by the government, with £2.629 million coming from the Department for Transport’s road resurfacing fund.

Roads minister Guy Opperman said: “Motorists in Oxfordshire deserve safe, modern and smooth roads they can rely on.

“I’m delighted to see Oxfordshire County Council making good use of the £2.6m government funding we have provided to tackle potholes and keep motorists moving across the county.

“We’re taking decisive action to resurface roads and fix potholes by investing an extra £8.3 billion in the biggest ever funding increase for local road improvements, which is enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of roads across the country, and made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.”

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