Buckinghamshire Council’s latest tool in the fight against potholes has been hard at work tackling some of the most troublesome road defects around the county.
The Pothole Pro is a specialist three-in-one vehicle that speeds up the process of repairing potholes and large sections of the road surface.
The machine starts by cutting into the road surface where a pothole has appeared. It planes out the defective area then crops the perimeter of the hole neatly, minimising the amount of material that needs to be removed and allowing a watertight seal. It then brushes away and collects the debris afterwards. All that is then needed following this is for highways teams to seal, lay and compact the asphalt into the prepared area to complete the repair.
The harsh winter weather caused significant damage to many roads across the county, compounded by the extra HGVs working on projects including HS2 and East West Rail. The council’s road crews were trained and ready to spring into action with the new machine once suitable dry weather conditions allowed them to get out and start making permanent repairs to the roads. During the previous wet and cold weather the crews could only make temporary emergency repairs.
Last week, Buckinghamshire Council Leader, Martin Tett and Cabinet Member for Transport, Steven Broadbent, went out to view the Pothole Pro in action in Crispin Street and Berryfields Road in Waddesdon to see for themselves how the Buckinghamshire Highways team is working round the clock to carry out the much-needed repairs.
The first sites the Pothole Pro visited earlier this month were Lower Road in Haddenham and Portway Road in Stone, where nine areas of defective road surface were repaired. The Pothole Pro will continue to travel around the county visiting sites that have been identified for repairs as part of a 28-day patching plan, including further works on Berryfields Road where 41 defects are due to be fixed over coming weeks.
Condition surveys of the county’s road are carried out by the Highway Inspectors who, along with the Local Area Technicians, identify areas that require repairs. The number and size of the defects are recorded, measured and assessed to determine the best way of making the repairs. The Pothole Pro is being used to repair defects measuring 21.5sqf (2sqm) and above. For larger areas with multiple defects, use of the Pothole Pro for planing and sweeping is combined with the more practical methods of Plane and Patch or resurfacing is used, where the old road surface is removed in its entirety and a new surface laid. To date the largest patch of road repaired by the Pothole Pro has measured 2,637 sq ft (245sqm).
Council Leader, Martin Tett, commented: “It has been great to see our Buckinghamshire Highways teams in action, working hard to make much-needed repairs across the county. We know there is still a lot of work to be done but we are making progress. On average our teams are filling up to 700 potholes every week and we will keep up this momentum until the programme is complete.”
Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport added: “Our new Buckinghamshire Highways partnership is already achieving significant results in terms of making good the damage that has been caused to so many of our roads over the winter. This is alongside our ongoing maintenance programmes and planned improvement works. Keep your eyes peeled for our crews out and about over coming months as we make our way around the county.”
In the photos:
1) Martin Tett and Steven Broadbent see the Pothole Pro in action.
2) Berryfields Road after repairs have been made.