Issue 6 - Spring 2012


Chairman's View
Rob Gillespie, RSTA Chairman

70 Years of Progress

The RSTA is celebrating a major anniversary during 2012: 70 Years of Progress. The occasion of this major anniversary in the life of surface treatments and their use in the UK comes at a pivotal time for the highway industry. At no time in recent years has the use of the range of treatments and the principles on which they are based, been so relevant, with long-term value for money together with pavement integrity issues and maintenance strategies, right at the top of every client’s agenda.

The substantive move to reinforce the requirements of long-term asset management through the work of HAMFIG, ADEPT, the RSTA and other organisations, now sees the performance of all pavement materials and the methods by which they are maintained, more closely linked to the value of the highways asset in the UK, together with the evaluation of the investment being made and the results achieved. Surface treatments are fundamental to the maintenance of both designed and evolved road networks across all regions and road types.

As an organisation with a 70 year history, we can see that the engineering principles of our treatments have remained unchanged, while the technology to manufacture and install them has progressed greatly. Taking surface dressing or microsurfacing as an example, the principle has always been to waterproof the road structure and restore the surface texture and skid resistance, hence improving safety. In the case of microsurfacing, we can also provide an improved surface regularity and remove rutting. It is these properties that we firmly believe bring the highway engineer the greatest value for money in their lifecycle management of networks.

Through joint work between ADEPT and the RSTA we have seen the publishing of our treatment service life document and further developments of codes of practice. The establishment of surface treatments properties and the measured impact they have on pavement condition must be incorporated fully into the pavement management and asset management systems that we use across the industry, to endorse their use as part of the engineer’s toolkit.

The RSTA is rightly proud of the achievements made over the 70 years and is ready to face present and future challenges to ensure continued progress on developing and delivering cost effective highway maintenance solutions.

Rob Gillespie
RSTA Chairman

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