Surface dressing programme starts on county’s roads

men and highways trucks surfacing the roadROADS across East Sussex are getting a summer makeover as this year’s surface dressing programme gets underway.

East Sussex Highways will treat 28 miles of rural and urban roads across the county, roughly the distance from County Hall in Lewes to Hastings Pier.

Roads due to get a new lease of life include those in Battle, Bexhill, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hastings, Horam, Mayfield, Ringmer, Wadhurst and Wivelsfield, and cover an area of approximately 268,000 square metres.

The £2.1 million programme, which started earlier this month, is due to be completed by the end of August and has been preceded by patching works to prepare the road for surface dressing.

Cllr Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport and environment, said: “Our summer surface dressing work is an important part of the council’s £20m annual road maintenance programme.

“The work enables us to seal and waterproof the roads, helping to protect them from frost and water damage and improve the skid resistance.

“While there may be some disruption, we’d ask residents to bear with us while we carry out this programme, which allows us to create a smoother, safer road surface and extends the life of the road by to 10 years.”

Surface dressing involves coating the road in bitumen and chippings and relies on the action of the traffic using the road to embed the chippings. The roads are swept 24 hours, three days and one week after the new surface has been laid. Road markings and cats eyes will be replaced after the final sweep.

Affected roads will be closed to traffic with signed diversion routes in place during the work.

The work is dependent on the weather and dates are subject to change, but residents will be kept informed of any changes via advance warning signs.

More details about the work and up-to-date information about the summer programme is available on the East Sussex Highways website at