Before surface treatments start

During February, March and April, patching works may take place on the roads selected for surface treatments. Therefore you may see workmen patching parts of the road only. Patching repairs and seals the existing road surface to ensure the road is ready for surface treatment.

In 2017, our surface treatment programme starts from the end of March. A full schedule of all roads directly affected is available below. Please note the timings listed for these works are weather dependent so please follow our twitter page @Cambs_Traffic or check local signage for more information.

Schedule of Surface treatment works for 2017

Size: 19.42 KB File format: xlsx

What to expect if your road is being treated

Advanced warning signs will be placed on the roads affected within 7 days of the works due to start. Properties affected will receive an information leaflet from Cambridgeshire County Council informing them of what works will take place and what to expect. Those properties directly affected will also receive a letter informing them of the exact dates of the works.

In order to carry out these works, some roads will need to be closed and through traffic will be required to follow the signed diversion route. However, access to properties will be given where possible.

We ask all residents and users of the roads being treated to take care when driving on the newly laid surface as there is likely to be some loose chippings. Please also see below some information leaflets for our FAQs:

Micro Asphalt leaflet

Size: 3.69 MB File format: pdf

Surface Dressing leaflet

Size: 6.33 MB File format: pdf

Treatment types

Surface treatments across Cambridgeshire consist of a number of different varieties, all are designed to seal the surface in order to prevent water ingress, add texture and conformity, thus extending the life expectancy of the site.

The varieties are Micro Asphalt, Surface Dressing, Footway Slurry Seal, and Retread.

Micro Asphalt

A thin coat surface treatment used on roads in the early stages of wear and tear. The effect of this treatment is to seal in the surface of the road from the ingress of water, thus preventing further deterioration and extending the life of the road. It also assists road safety by improving skid resistance.

Before treatment, the road is swept to remove any loose material and any ironwork is masked with tape. Following the treatment the masking is removed, and where necessary, the ironwork is marked up for adjustment in the near future. Traffic is able to use the road shortly after the material is laid.

The road will normally shed some stone over the first few weeks after treatment. This is typical and will be subject to sweeping as required. The new surface is very black and does appear slightly messy shortly after it is laid; but this is normal and usually settles down after a number of weeks.

Micro Asphalt can be laid in temperatures as low as 5 degrees, which means the laying season can extend from early March to mid-November. The process can only be laid in dry conditions, and is therefore very weather dependent. It is also, normally a requirement that the road is closed whilst this work is carried out.

A more enhanced variant of Micro Asphalt, called Grip Fibre may be considered for use on busier roads as it is stronger. The season for laying this runs from May to August.

Surface Dressing

A robust cost effective method of maintaining the highway network. It is designed as a preventative treatment for a road showing the initial signs of deterioration.

It is not a restorative treatment for roads that have predominantly structural issues, and will not re-profile the shape of a road. Some roads with minor defects can be treated, following planned preparation work in advance of the treatment.

The object of surface dressing is to seal in the surface of a road against the ingress of water, preventing potholes, and extending the life of a road for up to 10 years. It will give the road added texture, improving skid resistance, and give conformity to a heavily scarred surface.

Surface dressing, like most highway processes, can be disruptive and may require the road to be closed. Once completed, it can receive traffic immediately. Surface dressing can only take place in dry conditions, and is therefore, very weather and temperature dependent. The season for this treatment generally runs from April to September.

Footway Slurry Seal

A low cost preventative maintenance process, designed to seal in the surface of a structurally sound footway and prolong its life. It is not suitable for a footway that is not in a structurally acceptable condition and does not add strength. It will fill minor depressions and voids and provide a more even surface, improving the quality of slip resistance.

Slurry is a mixture of bitumen emulsion, aggregate and water spread over the existing footway and brushed to give a textured finish. It may be necessary to prepare the existing surface by cleaning, weed spray, minimal patching and raising ironwork.

Although a quick process, the surface will remain wet for several hours following treatment and the treated footway will need to remain closed until it dries. As with all thin coat surfacing, the process is weather and temperature dependent.


A process where the existing surface is planed up, re-graded and re-profiled on site. It is then compacted down and receives either a surface treatment or a tarmac over lay. The road will require to be closed throughout the process, and depending on the size of the site, this may be for several days. It is suitable for roads that have deteriorated further, but do not have a particularly heavy traffic flow.

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