Road maintenance

We are responsible for around 5,500 miles of roads, mostly made up of:

  • 690 miles of A roads
  • 488 miles of B roads
  • 1,371 miles of C roads
  • 2,550 miles of unclassified roads
  • 233 miles of unmetalled 'green' lanes

To enable a risk-based maintenance strategy for road maintenance each road is given a maintenance hierarchy based on its function and use.

Nine hierarchies determine how often a road is inspected and the timescale for reactive maintenance:

  • Major Road Network - Roads with strategic importance linking areas across the UK.
  • Hierarchy 1 - Major long distance, inter-urban routes mainly used for long distance industrial and commercial traffic.
  • Hierarchy 2 - Inter-urban routes handling substantial flows of long-distance traffic between adjacent towns in and out of the county.
  • Hierarchy 3 - Local roads which provide a good quality connection between main settlements (population of 500 plus) to higher hierarchy roads.
  • Hierarchy 4 - Classified roads linking smaller villages and settlements to higher hierarchy roads.
  • Hierarchy 5 - Unclassified roads linking smaller villages and settlements to higher hierarchy roads.
  • Hierarchy 6 - Urban and rural roads that primarily provide access to residential properties or agricultural land.
  • Hierarchy 7 - Minor paved rural and small roads, which include roads overgrown by vegetation.
  • Hierarchy 8 - All remaining unclassified roads which are not paved.

View our surface dressing programme.

View all planned roadworks.

Routine inspections

We carry out safety and service inspections of each road. Our inspection frequencies link to the maintenance hierarchies to ensure the most used roads are inspected most regularly.

Hierarchy Inspection frequency
MRN and Hierarchy 1 12 times per year
Hierarchy 2 4 times per year
Hierarchy 3 4 times per year
Hierarchy 4, 5, and 6 Once per year
Hierarchy 7 Once every 3 years
Hierarchy 8 (not paved) Once every 5 years

In addition, we carry out regular condition surveys of the road.

Scanner (Surface Condition Assessment of the National Network of Roads)

Scanner collects data on profiles, texture and cracking. We carry out Scanner surveys on all of the MRN and Hierarchy 1, 2 and 3 roads in one direction each year. We also survey 50% of the Hierarchy 4 roads each year.

CVI (Coarse Visual Inspection)

These industry-accredited visual assessments are designed to collect critical information on the condition of our paved infrastructure.

SCRIM (Sideway-force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machine)

SCRIM is used to identify lengths of road with poor skidding resistance. We survey 33% of the MRN, Hierarchy 1 and 2 network annually.


This machine measures the structural integrity of the road. The results estimate its remaining expected life and are a crucial component when assessing structural maintenance requirements. We survey 20% of the MRN and Hierarchy 1 and 2 network annually.

All of this survey data is collated to give us an accurate understanding of the condition of Lincolnshire's roads. This enables us to plan and target maintenance effectively, including preventative maintenance.

View our Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Plan.

Planned maintenance

We analyse information from surveys and inspections to determine the best treatment and timing for repairs or preventative maintenance. 

Surface dressing

We sweep the road to remove loose material, then apply a bitumen emulsion spray followed by chippings. The surface is then rolled and swept to remove excess chippings.

Surface dressing seals the surface, preventing water from getting into it. It also improves the texture and skid resistance and helps prevent potholes from forming. It also helps keep disruption to a minimum as most sites can be treated without road closures and used immediately afterwards.

Treating a road just before faults occur can prolong its life and prevent the need for more disruptive treatments. Surface dressing is designed to last for between up to 12 years.

Road micro-asphalt

We apply a cold mix of bitumen emulsion overlay to the surface. Road micro-asphalt seals the surface, preventing water from getting into it. It also improves the texture and skid resistance and helps prevent potholes from forming.

It is quick to lay and can be used immediately afterwards, keeping disruption to a minimum. It is usually used on lightly used roads as an alternative to surface dressing.

By treating a road before faults occur, we can prolong its life and prevent the need for more disruptive treatments.


This involves replacing the roads top bituminous layer and is used where the surface has failed and there is either the need to restore ride quality, resolve poor drainage characteristics or where there is excessive patching and reinstatements.

We plane off the surface of the carriageway and replace it. When we resurface, we will seek to maintain kerb upstands to aid drainage, and we may lift or lower existing metal covers and gullies to improve ride quality.

Resurfacing will typically require a road closure to enable the works to be carried out safely. Once completed, resurfacing has a lifespan of up to 20 years.


Patches are repairs to small areas, replacing one or more bituminous layers. We use patching to repair areas where the surface or structural layers are failing.

Depending on the size of the road and the patches, patching can be carried out using traffic management but can also require a road closure. We design patching to have a minimum design life of 10 years.

Patching and surface dressing

Where a road is primarily suitable for surface dressing but has some areas of failure in the structural layers, we aim to patch and then surface dress. 

We may patch up to a year before the surface dressing. Surface dressing over the patches can prevent water from getting into the road and provide a uniform surface.


Reconstruction involves replacing a substantial depth of the bituminous layers. Reconstruction is considered when there are extensive areas of structural failure. 

When designing a reconstruction scheme, we use lots of data from our lab to determine the right design to achieve the best results. We utilise locally recycled material such as foam-base bitumen where possible to reduce the scheme's and our carbon footprint.

Reconstruction works are extensive and can be disruptive as they will mainly require a road closure to carry out the work safely.


Re-treading involves planing the road, then re-grading and re-profiling on site before a surface dressing is applied. Additives may be used to stabilise the works further.

It is usually used on lightly used roads with significant areas of structural deterioration. It uses very little new material, reducing the carbon impact of the work.

While works are happening a full road closure will be required while works are happening due to the machinery's size and construction depth.