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Dust fails to settle on roadworks row as cars caked in clouds of dirt

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 May 2019

Lexden Road in Colchester has seen roadworks in the last month. Picture: janus@vancols.com

Lexden Road in Colchester has seen roadworks in the last month. Picture: janus@vancols.com

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Angry Colchester residents may see more disruption on their streets as the council attempt to resolve motorists kicking up dust following roadworks.

Essex Highways say drivers should obey the speed limit to reduce the amount of dust on Lexden Road. Picture: janus@vancols.comEssex Highways say drivers should obey the speed limit to reduce the amount of dust on Lexden Road. Picture: janus@vancols.com

People say their homes and gardens are caked in dust from resurfacing works in Lexden Road more than a week after the estimated £100,000 work finished - possibly meaning it could be re-done.

County and district councillor Sue Lissimore said the system had failed and a full investigation will take place - potentially meaning the surface needs to be re-laid - although she said the dust does not contain any toxins.

Essex Highways says the work was needed to reduce the number of potholes and urged motorists to follow a lower 20mph speed limit on the road while the new surface beds in.

Sweepers had been sent out to clear the road of remaining dust and signs are currently in place instructing drivers to abide by a 20mph speed limit due to loose chippings and a risk of skidding.

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But resident Janus van Helfteren said the warnings were not stopping clouds of dust being thrown into the air.

Mr van Helfteren said: “I think this illustrates to a certain extent the problem, so a solution needs to be found certainly before any more is done in Lexden road area.

“I was approached by an older couple who told me that their garden and house was absolutely covered and that they where hosing the plants down to remove the dust.”

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “Surface dressing is a very effective and financially efficient treatment to keep our roads free of potholes for years. It is nationally recognised by the industry as a safe and recommended option.”

The spokesman said loose chippings are added to a bitumen binder coating which can cause dust, which is then crushed and rolled into the road, helped by traffic. Sweeping then takes place 24 hours, 48 hours and one week after completion.

He added the lower speed limit helps reduce dust being spread on the road: “Lexden Road is busy with heavy vehicles including buses, so drivers must keep below 20mph and drive cautiously on the brand new surface at all times.

“Please, will drivers be patient while the surface stones are bedding in. The effects are positive for several years.”

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