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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Smoother journeys for motorists after roads programme is completed

More pleasurable journey ... roads to tourist
 attractions such as the Himalayan Gardens
at Grewelthorpe have benefited from
the county council's programme
North Yorkshire's beauty attracts visitors from all over the world and maintaining roads for tourism, business and residents is a top priority.

That's the message after the county council completed its largest roads surface dressing programme ever.

North Yorkshire is England’s largest authority and its 5,000 mile road network connects towns, villages and market towns across vast rural areas – a distance which would more than stretch from England to Pakistan.

Highways chiefs say they are increasing spending on preventative road maintenance, bucking the trend nationally, to bring down the cost of reactive patching and pothole repair.

Working in partnership with its contractor Ringway, the county council has surface dressed around 400 miles of road, more than ever before, in a process which combines bitumen with chippings.

The county council is typically spending £65m a year on road maintenance, significantly more than in the past. The additional money comes from a £44m pot being spent between 2014-21 to bring more of the road network up to scratch, particularly across rural areas.
North Yorkshire has a higher percentage of rural roads than most areas. These account for almost 75 per cent of the county’s road network, compared to 29 per cent in a typical local authority.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, the county council's executive member for highways, said: "Our additional funding for roads is about vital support for economic growth, supporting business and keeping communities and the economy on the move,

“Surface dressing also helps to keep roads safe, improving skid resistance.  In more urban, densely populated areas and on estate roads we are also now using a system called lock-chip, which binds the chippings to improve safety.”

“In addition, we aim to complete this programme every year before autumn when the weather deteriorates. This minimises costs and improves the life of the material.”

Tourism-related businesses such as the Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park at Grewelthorpe are are situated along minor rural roads, so their upkeep is vital to the success of trade.

Garden events manager Selina Shackleton said: “It’s a fantastic job. The county council came along earlier in the year to fill in the potholes on our road and now all the road surfaces in the village have been redone so it looks fantastic.  We’ve wanted this work done as it makes such a difference to our access so we are very happy.”

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