Three new pothole “zapping” machines are being rolled out on Staffordshire roads as part of a package of measures to help speed up repairs on the county’s highway network.
Earlier this year, Staffordshire County Council was awarded just over £1 million from the Department for Transport to help manage the challenge of repairing potholes and defects in the roads.
As part of its wider plans to repairs and maintain more than 6,400km of roads, one pothole patching machine has been purchased–with two more hired–to help fix repairs more quickly over the summer months.
The 18-tonne machines allows the county council fill and seal potholes remotely without refilling through the day – rather than send crews out to locations to carry out repairs. The machines also create no waste, meaning they are more environmentally friendly than traditional filling methods.
Mark Deaville, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport, said:
“By investing in the very latest technology we have a less labour intensive and more cost-effective way of repairing potholes more quickly.
“We do need to use a range of techniques depending on the size of the pothole, location and condition of the roads and the purchase of the Roadmaster is part of our overall plan to manage the maintenance of our 6,400km with the budget we have available and against other spending priorities for the council.
“During good weather crews are now fixing around 350 potholes every week and the two Roadmasters now in action across the county. In addition to this, we are also improving the “lifespan” of our roads by surface dressing 350km of carriageway this year, that’s the equivalent of from Penkridge to Plymouth.”
The county council prioritises repairs based on the risk posed to members of the public with category 1 being the highest priority to category 3 the lowest.
“Our crews take a practical common sense approach, fixing urgent potholes first, grouping repairs together where possible and managing traffic to get the work done with as minimum disruption as possible.
“The good news is that we are fixing priority potholes more quickly, but with a network the sheer size of Staffordshire this is of course an ongoing challenge and is why as a council we want to focus more on approach which will reduce the number of potholes appearing.”
Details of customer reports and potholes are published on the county council’s website on a weekly basis and can be found here. Residents can also report potholes via the website or by downloading the MyStaffs App