A ROAD improvement programme worth £3.5 million is rolling into the Malvern Hills this week.

Worcestershire Highways is improving 200 roads across Worcestershire and is now moving into Malvern, Guarlford, Upton, Ryall, Callow End and Powick. Roads will be surface dressed over the next few weeks as part of the project – the latest in a line of improvements which has seen £50million invested since 2011.

Cllr John Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for highways said: "We know from residents and businesses that improving of our highways is a priority."

The process of surface dressing is dependent on the weather and, as such, the schedule of works can change if conditions dictate.

A calibrated tanker sprays a thin film of hot, sticky bitumen onto the road surface, a metered spreader then places hard stone chippings onto the hot bitumen and these chippings are then lightly rolled, pressing them into the bitumen.

The road can then be driven over with care (usually with a temporary speed limit in place for a short time). Any loose chippings on the surface are swept away within 24 hours and again after about a week. The road markings are then replaced.

For more information on this year's Surface Dressing Programme please visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk and type in 'Surface Dressing' in the keyword search. The webpage includes answers to questions frequently asked and details on methods of repair employed by Worcestershire Highways teams.