County Council’s surface dressing programme making Hampshire roads more resilient

Hampshire roads will be given a new lease of life this summer as Hampshire County Council’s annual programme of road surface strengthening gets underway at 400 locations

May 8 2024

Surface dressing

Councillor Nick Adams-King, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Universal Services, said: “We know that potholes and other road defects are a cause of frustration to residents and motorists which is why we invest in a range of ways to make Hampshire’s roads stronger. Surface dressing treatments help to slow the natural deterioration of roads and reduce the occurrence of potholes and other road defects, as well as giving the road more grip to boost safety. It’s a cost-efficient way to target roads that carry the most traffic so are most at risk of wear and tear, helping taxpayers’ money to go further at a time when our budget is extremely stretched. 

“These treatments are applied during the summer months because the process needs warm, dry weather to be successful. I’d like to thank road users for their patience during any periods of temporary disruption while the work is being completed. Summer is also the optimal time to fix potholes and we are continuing to focus more resources on repairing road defects following another challenging winter. Furthermore, additional funds from Government are enabling us to carry out 19 larger resurfacing and repair schemes across the county.” 

Sites are selected for surface dressing based on an assessment of the road’s condition including the level of potholes, cracking and other defects present. 

Surface dressing involves the application of fresh stone onto a layer of bitumen binder (a glue that holds together crushed gravel to create a durable, flexible surface, essential to the success of the treatment). The loose stones are then embedded by rubber rollers with remaining loose chippings then swept up. Surface dressing cannot happen if the road is wet as the moisture will prevent the bond between the chippings and asphalt. 

Where surface dressing is being carried out, road closures will usually be in place from 9.30am to 4pm, with a few exceptions. Timings will be flexible, as the process is very weather dependant, but local roadside signage will be updated as promptly as possible to keep people informed.

Hampshire residents can find out more about roadworks taking place in Hampshire, including surface dressing schemes at:  and 

Hampshire residents are encouraged to report potholes and road defects direct to the County Council at: