The local roads network in East Sussex is in good condition for the coming winter after a challenging start to the year.
Working with road repair specialist Velocity, East Sussex Highways planned an extensive programme in late 2019 to begin in April.
Commencing at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, two of Velocity’s spray-injection patching machines have been working throughout the county, carrying out a mix of emergency works, reactive and preventative maintenance to the road network.
Dale Poore, Head of Highway Infrastructure Services at East Sussex Council said: “We had a very difficult winter here in East Sussex along with the rest of the country. It was very wet, a lot of potholes formed, that was a real challenge for us.
“There was concern that COVID-19 would interrupt our programme and we would end up facing another winter in a serious situation. However, Velocity came in as planned on 1st April and have worked throughout. Now our network is in much better condition, and we have been able to keep the network safe for key workers and essential workers that needed to get out and about.
“In East Sussex, 60% of our network is rural roads. That network is very important to keep communities connected. Velocity patching is applicable to both rural and urban environments and has been very successful for us. It’s an essential tool in out toolbox, that’s very cost efficient and presents great value for money for the authority.”
Velocity patching has been used on rural and urban roads in the county, repairing potholes and edge deterioration as well as carrying out preventative maintenance to areas with cracking and crazing to prevent further deterioration.
Each repair takes minutes to complete and is ready for traffic immediately, minimising inconvenience for road users.
East Sussex Highways Service Director Mike Egleton said: “The reason we wanted to work with Velocity is we wanted a very quick, cost effective and long-term maintenance response to the pothole issues that we have across the county.
“The real key thing is the speed of work that they’re able to undertake and the productivity that brings. We’re able to undertake really good top-quality repairs in the fraction of the time of our normal reactive maintenance teams. That productivity is where we want to be, and also creates cost savings for us.”
Velocity’s technique requires a crew of two or three, lending itself well to mitigating the ongoing restrictions required by social distancing. Additional measures were implemented to protect the workforce and general public, and the materials supply chain was uninterrupted throughout.
Gavin Blogg, Velocity’s Business Development Manager, said: “Great credit has to be given to East Sussex Council for their part in keeping work going to maintain the road network at the height of the COVID crisis. We were ready, our materials supply chain was ready, they had the plans in place to work safely. Together we were able to keep the roads safe for users in the county.
“Local authorities are still planning programmes with us for the remainder of the year to make sure their networks are well prepared for the coming winter. We have limited capacity available, and are able to quickly mobilise anywhere in the UK.”