Major £3.5m roads revamp revealed for Worcestershire

Malvern Gazette: Tolladine Road in Worcester Tolladine Road in Worcester

A MAJOR £3.5 million roads overhaul is about to kick off in Worcestershire - repairing 200 different routes across the county.

A three-month long surface dressing project is to launch by the end of next week, covering around 1.2 million square metres of the network with new chippings by the end of July.

The spend is the single biggest amount of cash Worcestershire County Council has ever splashed out on roads in one fell swoop, and is £500,000 more than what was earmarked towards it last year.

Surface dressing is believed to prolong the life of a road by up to a decade by preventing water from getting underneath it and freezing, reducing potholes.

But it has proved controversial in the past - in June last year loose stone chippings from surface dressing at The Tything in Worcester led to huge plumes of dust gathering across buildings, infuriating traders.

The council is using different batches of chippings now and insists it does not expect any repeats.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: "The whole of the county will benefit from it and weather permitting, we expect to start by the end of next week.

"I know there's members of the public who don't like loose chippings but we've become much better at sweeping them up.

"Surface dressing is a very cheap way of water proofing the roads which is very important as potholes are caused by water getting in and freezing or expanding.

"We looked at North Yorkshire (council) because they do a lot of this, and found there's a clear correlation between surface dressing and not getting potholes, and they don't get the best climate there.

"It means we don't have to go back."

Last year the council spent £3 million tending to one million square miles of road, a spend credited with reducing the number of pothole defects appearing over the winter.

Whenever a road gets surface dressing, drivers can go over it immediately, but it takes several days to settle down completely.

Over the winter 6,400 road defects needed repair, with £700,000 channelled into the work.

During the previous winter it topped 27,000, although the weather was much colder and wetter.

Only last month your Worcester News revealed how public satisfaction with Worcestershire’s roads has slumped to just 31 per cent, compared to 42 per cent in 2011.

The council said it came despite record investment resulting in fewer defects than ever before.

The main factors people cited as factors were potholes, road markings, road signs, poor quality repairs and surfacing.

More than 2,200 people took part in the survey, with a cross section of households asked for their views.

* Next week your Worcester News will reveal a list of routes set to benefit.

Comments (7)

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11:06am Wed 23 Apr 14

Sulis76 says...

£3.5m should see some marked improvements on some of Worcestershire's road. Until you realise it's Worcestershire county council's highways department who are in charge! You wait and see, this money will mostly be wasted on poor pothole filling, tar and chippings and on errors too when they realise they've cocked something up again. We won't notice much difference with this money and it's because the highways staff are incompetent and have an inability to spend money efficiently, wisely and on projects that will actually make things better.
£3.5m should see some marked improvements on some of Worcestershire's road. Until you realise it's Worcestershire county council's highways department who are in charge! You wait and see, this money will mostly be wasted on poor pothole filling, tar and chippings and on errors too when they realise they've cocked something up again. We won't notice much difference with this money and it's because the highways staff are incompetent and have an inability to spend money efficiently, wisely and on projects that will actually make things better. Sulis76
  • Score: 5

11:11am Wed 23 Apr 14

CJH says...

"...and is £500,000 more than what was earmarked towards it last year." What purpose does the 'what' in that sentence serve? Hopeless.
"...and is £500,000 more than what was earmarked towards it last year." What purpose does the 'what' in that sentence serve? Hopeless. CJH
  • Score: 2

12:15pm Wed 23 Apr 14

brooksider says...

Last month the Council told us the Government were contributing 2.18 million towards the cost of road repairs plus £700,000 was going towards pothole repairs.
So is the 3.5 million extra to these amounts or is the Council actually announcing an extra £600,000 spend?
Last month the Council told us the Government were contributing 2.18 million towards the cost of road repairs plus £700,000 was going towards pothole repairs. So is the 3.5 million extra to these amounts or is the Council actually announcing an extra £600,000 spend? brooksider
  • Score: 2

12:19pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Andy_R says...

Yet more surface dressing? Hasn't this already been discredited as a complete waste of money that makes perfectly good road surfaces lumpy, throws dust everywhere, and (because the council can't be bothered clearing up afterwards) makes it impossible to drive anywhere without pinging bits of gravel at cars, pedestrians and cyclists?

Yet again the highways department are wasting money on making things worse, and ignoring real problems like potholes (even ones a few feet away from the ones they are fixing) and the need to dual the Carrington bridge and finish the ring road. If only they had saved up the money wasted on this last year, the dangerous filter lane fiasco, the pointless work at the Ketch roundabout and the but lanes to nowhere they would be halfway to being able to afford a new road bridge for Worcester.
Yet more surface dressing? Hasn't this already been discredited as a complete waste of money that makes perfectly good road surfaces lumpy, throws dust everywhere, and (because the council can't be bothered clearing up afterwards) makes it impossible to drive anywhere without pinging bits of gravel at cars, pedestrians and cyclists? Yet again the highways department are wasting money on making things worse, and ignoring real problems like potholes (even ones a few feet away from the ones they are fixing) and the need to dual the Carrington bridge and finish the ring road. If only they had saved up the money wasted on this last year, the dangerous filter lane fiasco, the pointless work at the Ketch roundabout and the but lanes to nowhere they would be halfway to being able to afford a new road bridge for Worcester. Andy_R
  • Score: 5

3:01pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Redhillman says...

Worcestershire's roads are one of the worst managed and maintained roads , especially compared to our neighbouring counties who do a far, far better job. Just look at the condition of the roads in Gloucestershire. Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire and you'll see how much better they are.

Our highways department are simply clueless when it comes to road repairs. They keep filling in potholes that don't last more than a few days while they keep persisting with surface dressing which is proven to be ineffective, expensive and dangerous, rather than resurface a road properly with a new layer of tarmac which other counties do and have dispensed with surface dressing on a major scale. And when they resurface or surface dress roads, it's never the ones that are uneven or littered with potholes, the ones that really need repairing.

We need a new regime in charge of the highways department, and while I'd be one for having a clean sweep and having heads roll, I'd like to see the highways department privatised. That way, we'd see massive improvements in every way the road network is designed and managed, including road repairs.
Worcestershire's roads are one of the worst managed and maintained roads , especially compared to our neighbouring counties who do a far, far better job. Just look at the condition of the roads in Gloucestershire. Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire and you'll see how much better they are. Our highways department are simply clueless when it comes to road repairs. They keep filling in potholes that don't last more than a few days while they keep persisting with surface dressing which is proven to be ineffective, expensive and dangerous, rather than resurface a road properly with a new layer of tarmac which other counties do and have dispensed with surface dressing on a major scale. And when they resurface or surface dress roads, it's never the ones that are uneven or littered with potholes, the ones that really need repairing. We need a new regime in charge of the highways department, and while I'd be one for having a clean sweep and having heads roll, I'd like to see the highways department privatised. That way, we'd see massive improvements in every way the road network is designed and managed, including road repairs. Redhillman
  • Score: -3

3:07pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Redhillman says...

By the way, someone has showed me an interesting Facebook page about Worcestershire county council's highways department which can be found at

www.facebook.com/pag
es/Worcestershire-Co
unty-Council-highway
s-department-good-or
-bad/248539585331808


I don't have a Facebook account, but having seen this page, it's a discussion about the performance of the highways department, while people can add their own comments, views, experiences etc, whether positive or negative. It's about time an independent, informal forum of our highways department was made available, while hopefully those at County Hall will see it too and know really how the tax payer feels about Worcestershire's highways department.
By the way, someone has showed me an interesting Facebook page about Worcestershire county council's highways department which can be found at www.facebook.com/pag es/Worcestershire-Co unty-Council-highway s-department-good-or -bad/248539585331808 I don't have a Facebook account, but having seen this page, it's a discussion about the performance of the highways department, while people can add their own comments, views, experiences etc, whether positive or negative. It's about time an independent, informal forum of our highways department was made available, while hopefully those at County Hall will see it too and know really how the tax payer feels about Worcestershire's highways department. Redhillman
  • Score: -2

6:57pm Thu 24 Apr 14

DarrenM says...

ahh yes the Spring, that time when then County go out spraying grit across the entire County.

Have they tried actually resurfacing the roads? Apparently that's shown some good results in prolonging the life as well
ahh yes the Spring, that time when then County go out spraying grit across the entire County. Have they tried actually resurfacing the roads? Apparently that's shown some good results in prolonging the life as well DarrenM
  • Score: 1

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