Nearly 100 roads in Oxfordshire are set to benefit from a £7 million highway maintenance programme set to start this spring.

Oxfordshire County Council and its contractor, Milestone Infrastructure Ltd, are set to visit more than 50 locations between April 8 and June 3 to execute surface dressing work.

Surface dressing involves applying bituminous emulsion on to the road as a binder. This is followed immediately by the application of chippings to dress the emulsion layer.

The Department for Transport’s road resurfacing fund is injecting £2.629 million into the project.

Oxford Mail: The work will help to prevent potholesThe work will help to prevent potholes (Image: Oxford Mail)

The project will see one million square metres of carriageway treated in what will be the largest surface dressing programme to take place in Oxfordshire in over two decades.

Bill Cotton, Oxfordshire County Council’s corporate director for environment and place, said: "We know how important the quality of our roads is to our residents and this significant programme of work will help keep many miles of highways in a better condition for years to come.

"Surface dressing is one of the most cost-effective methods of roads maintenance and spring is the best time to start this programme of work.

"We would urge motorists to watch out for notifications of the work taking place and to drive carefully after it has been carried out."

Motorists are advised to cautiously navigate newly-treated roads as the friction from tyres can dislodge loose chips, increasing the risk of skidding and other damage.

Oxford Mail: An advisory 20mph speed limit will be introducedAn advisory 20mph speed limit will be introduced (Image: Will Durrant)

To prevent this, an advisory speed limit of 20mph will be enforced in these areas.

Richard Lovewell, business director for Milestone’s Oxfordshire contract, said: “We’re proud to be embarking on Oxfordshire’s biggest programme of this kind in 20 years.

"We’ve planned the work in a way that minimises disruption and maximises efficiencies.

"We’ve also positioned Oxfordshire right at the start of the national surface dressing season."

Roads minister, Guy Opperman, added: “Motorists in Oxfordshire deserve safe, modern and smooth roads they can rely on.

"I’m delighted to see Oxfordshire County Council making good use of the £2.6m government funding we have provided to tackle potholes and keep motorists moving across the county.

“We’re taking decisive action to resurface roads and fix potholes by investing an extra £8.3 billion in the biggest ever funding increase for local road improvements."

The surface dressing seals the road surface, preventing water penetration, one of the leading causes of deterioration and potholes.

It also contributes to less road surface deterioration while restoring the necessary skid resistance level.

It extends worn-out road surfaces' longevity, yielding more value for limited highway maintenance budgets.