Oxfordshire County Council’s highways contractor, Skanska, is using a second pothole patching machine to help combat the rise in potholes across the county.
Following the successful introduction of the first machine in 2015, it will work on nearly 3,000 miles of the road network to complete pothole repairs. The patcher is five times faster than traditional methods, saves money and is safer because it is operated from the vehicle’s cabin.
It is nicknamed the ‘Dragon’ because it expels flames to de-ice and dry out the road surface. It is then cleaned with compressed air and sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen emulsion. With the pothole gone in just two minutes, the patcher can move on to the next repair.
County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for Environment, said: “The dragon patcher is five times faster than traditional methods and can do more work for the money.
“It is also safer as it is operated from the vehicle’s cabin and we found that it was well suited to Oxfordshire’s rural roads. Since 2015, it has made 5,000 repairs to potholes and larger patches across Oxfordshire.”
Richard Lovewell, Operations Manager at Skanska, explained: “At Skanska we are always looking for innovative ways of working. An example of this was drawing on our global expertise to bring the patching machine used in Sweden to the UK and help to solve the ever-increasing pothole problem for our customers.”
Last year, the pothole patching machine won the Highways Industry Project of the Year category, at the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards.