CITY roads at the centre of a resurfacing dust storm may have to be “re-dressed”, it has emerged.
Work on the major routes through Worcester, including Barbourne Road, The Tything, Bath Road and Bromyard Road, was halted after a “rogue batch” of chippings left pedestrians, buildings and vehicles covered in dust.
Pedestrians, business owners, motorists and pedestrians were left angry after the thick clouds appeared as vehicles travelled on roads undergoing the work on Wednesday.
As revealed in your Worcester News yesterday, the problems were caused by faulty chippings used on the thoroughfares by contractors employed by Worcestershire County Council.
However, drivers in the city yesterday were surprised to find more work had been carried out overnight on Wednesday night and on George Street, Hallow Hill and Hylton Road last night.
But Jon Fraser, Worcestershire’s County Council’s highways manager, said steps had been taken to resolve the issue and remove the faulty chippings.
“The rogue batch of small chippings that caused the problem have been rejected and removed and will not be used on any future sites,” he said.
“Surface dressing (with an acceptable chipping) took place successfully last night (Wednesday) on Tybridge Street, Droitwich Road and Blackpole Road with no reported problems.”
However, he said the roads would now be monitored in a bid to avoid a repeat of the problems.
“There are no safety issues with the roads that were affected by the substandard chippings, however, we will be monitoring these sections of highway over the next few weeks to ensure that we are happy with the quality and longevity of the road surface,” Mr Fraser said.
The council also confirmed the costs of any additional work caused by the problem would be borne by the contractor – meaning the taxpayer would not foot the bill.
However, a statement from the authority also confirmed a “worst-case scenario” would see affected routes being ‘redressed’, although there would be no need for any excavation work or removal of previous surface dressing, it added.
Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member for highways, said: "I guess Ringway (the contractors) will be billing their suppliers for this, but whatever they do it won't cost taxpayers.
"There has obviously been a problem their end but it will be put right at their expense.
"The frustrating thing is that the chips were all tested and even the small ones did meet the right standards to be used, but when cars and other vehicles started to go over them it become clear there was an issue with that batch."
The road surfacing scheme is a £3 million project to restore the condition of some of the county's busiest routes.
It has also included scores of residential roads in areas like St Peter's, Worcester.