Plea to motorists to stick to speed limits

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Motorists are being advised to slow their speeds on roads which have been surface dressed in Deeside and Donside.

Many roads in the area have recently had the surface dressing added, resulting in vehicles travelling on them having less grip on loose chippings.

Torphins motorist Andrew McMurtrie said he had noted two vehicles that had come off the Raemoir Road, north of the garden centre, and appealed for people to obey the 20mph speed limit imposed.

“Many motorists completely ignore these speed restrictions, totally unaware how little traction their vehicle tyres have on such a surface,” he said. “In addition, if they took the time to look in their rear view mirror whilst travelling at these inappropriate speeds, they would see much of the loose road surface being thrown up in the air behind them, which is a danger to other motorists, especially those travelling in the opposite direction, who will likely be hit by this loose material and damage their car through no fault of their own.

“Any requirement to brake sharply would likely end in that vehicle ending up, at best, out of control and, at worse, causing an incident, like the two vehicles recently observed on Raemoir Road.”

A Grampian Police spokesman confirmed one of the incidents, which happened at around 8.50pm on Tuesday (July 12), on Raemoir Road, and involved a grey Ford Mondeo and a red Ford transit van. He said there were no injuries and the road was not blocked as a result.

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Surface dressing is a widespread and long-established technique and is extremely cost-effective for sealing road surfaces against water penetration and restoring grip. It significantly prolongs the life of the road surface.”

He said the Marr Area programme of surface dressing was due to be completed this week, weather permitting.

“We have completed all the main roads programme, with only minor and urban roads in Donside and Strathbogie/Huntly still to do,” he said. “The value of the surface dressing programme in the Marr Area is broadly similar to last year at £925,000, out of a total Marr roads budget of £5,066,000.

“We would encourage drivers to comply with the road signs. These are left in place until the treated roads have been swept to the satisfaction of an appropriately experienced person that there is no abnormal residual risk from loose chippings.

“We recently put out an appeal to motorcyclists, in particular, to beware of loose chippings, which can potentially be even more dangerous for them, given already reduced levels of grip.”

He said where roads had been recently re-dressed, loose chippings which formed the final layer of the surface, took time to bed in.

“This can pose a handling problem for vehicles if advice and warnings are not heeded, given the temporary reduced adhesion to the road caused by the chippings,” he said.

“It takes time for the loose chippings to bed in properly and the slow passage of traffic is beneficial to the process. It is safe for traffic to travel on these freshly re-dressed roads, providing motorists pay heed to warning signs and speed limits and drive according to the conditions, as they should do at all times on all roads.”