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#17-18 P33 Specification for coloured pavement surfacings

Published: | Category: Technical advice note | Audiences: Road controlling authorities, Road traffic engineers & consultants, Roading contractors

This technical advice note provides a brief outline of the content and intent of the P33 specification for the supply and installation of coloured pavement surfacings specification.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: 18 December 2017
  • Reference: 17-18
  • Contact:

Coloured surfacings have been used widely as a high value delineation tool for a number of years. However, consultation with users of these treatments has shown that these specialist systems in New Zealand have been plagued by premature failures.

To address these issues the P33 Specification for the supply and installation of coloured pavement surfacings has been developed to assist managers in achieving value for money from these treatments. The specification can be found on the Delineation page of the NZ Transport Agency website.

This technical advice provides a brief outline of the content and intent of the specification.

The use of the specification is mandatory for contracts awarded after the 1st October 2017. For tenders submitted prior to this date, the application of this specification to the works in question will need to be negotiated with the supplier.


This specification can be used for roads, cycle ways and pedestrian paths. It is performance based and sets out the expectations around the selection, design and application processes as well as the performance requirements that must be achieved in terms of skid resistance, durability and colour over the five year warranty period. This is consistent with other road authority specifications.

The predominant modes of failure are loss of cohesion, delamination, chip loss and fading. It is expected that a good quality coloured surfacing on a properly prepared surface will last approximately seven to 10 years.

A performance approach was adopted as there are a wide variety of coloured surfacing systems available; a prescriptive specification that would adequately describe all the possible products available would be complex and may limit innovation.

The following performance criteria are addressed in the specification:

  • Skid resistance – in line with the Transport Agency T10 State highway road surfaces with guidance for local roads and footpaths.
  • Durability – resistance to ravelling, delamination, stripping, cracking and bleeding.
  • Colour – initial colour and an allowable degree of colour change is outlined. 

Information on colours for cycle lanes can be found at the Cycle lanes page (under detailed design considerations) on the Transport Agency website. Guidance is provided in the specification on translating nominal colours (eg Red) to industry standard colours as stipulated in AS 2700 (eg R13 Signal Red).

Role of purchasers

Under this specification documentation in support of the design and evidence of past performance must be supplied. This can take the form of internationally recognised certification (eg Highway Authority Product Approval Scheme), references from road authorities and quality documentation such as installation procedures.

It must be stressed that surfacing performance is strongly dependent on substrate condition. The adequacy and preparation of the substrate must be agreed with the supplier who must report on the suitability of the surface to be treated.

Guidance is provided on what constitutes inadequate performance and acceptable remedial action to allow asset managers to enforce the warranty.

This requires some level of monitoring of a products performance. The specification requires the supplier to undertake a monitoring and reporting program comprising an initial inspection at four to six weeks followed by inspections at 12 and 24 months after laying.

Recording Coloured Surfacings in RAMM

Coloured surfacing is not captured as a surfacing asset, but is recorded as a delineation asset in the 'marking' table in RAMM. The marking type that applies to coloured surfacing is 'M83 – Coloured surfacing'. The attributes (eg location, colour, material, etc) of the coloured surfacing is captured in the same manner as for other road marking.

Publication details

Author: Rob Craw - NZ Transport Agency
Published: May 2017
Found at:

Further information

For further information contact the Technical Services team at  

Kevin Reid