Equal distance of Kent to Bristol covered in county surface treatment works

Highways officers in Kent have completed an annual round of road repairs using methods which will make road conditions last longer, for less cost and achieving significant carbon reductions, according to the council.

Kent County Council’s highways department has treated the equivalent of 127 miles of road, an equal distance from the county to Bristol, during the 2021 road surface preservation season that ended on September 7. As part of this programme, 1.1 million square metres of Kent’s roads have been treated, extending the working life of a large volume of our highway network.

Using these specialist materials and techniques on its road network has achieved a significant saving in greenhouse gas emissions and results in minimal waste needing to be removed during the works, according to the council.

Vehicles also reduce the amount of CO2 they emit, by up to 5%, due to the smoother road surface following surfacing works. This is part of the wider £50 million annual road maintenance programme, of which £11 million is set aside to prevent potholes from forming.

This approach is set out in the council’s Highways Asset Management Plan, which continues to ensure KCC uses the best methods and prioritises work in line with its five-year Forward Works Plan.

Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “A key part of what we do as an authority is making sure we future-proof everything, and this includes our roads. Our specialist treatments are critical in sealing the surface of our roads to preserve their structure for the future and prevent potholes forming.

“This also has vast environmental benefits and is more cost-effective, delivering on the aims of KCC’s Highways Asset Management Plan.”

The cost of the methods used is about £7 per square metre and can get a road in good condition for about eight to 10 years. Compared to traditional resurfacing methods, which cost between £25-£35 per square metre.

During the smarter, cost effective works no material needs to be removed or disposed of from the site, and preservation processes use lower temperature materials, significantly reducing carbon output to between one and three kilograms of CO2 per square metre, compared to nine kilograms for more traditional work.

Kent’s separate £30 million road renewal programme continues and is expected to be completed later this Autumn.

Principal Operations Manager at Amey, Judith Bilboe, said: “2021 has remained a challenging year for many of us but due to the hard work of our highways operatives we have delivered a successful road surface preservation season, treating around 130 miles of roads across the county, future proofing and ensuring a smoother journey for those travelling on the network.”

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