State-of-the-art machines have been utilised to repair more than 1,300 potholes and similar defects on many of Neath Port Talbot’s rural roads.
The Velocity patching machines were used to repair some of the worst-hit roads during a month-long blitz.
The works were identified via annual network condition surveys and the repairs have already resulted in positive feedback from local residents and road users.
It was the first time Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council had worked with road preservation specialists Velocity, who have repaired more than 250,000 potholes across the UK over the past 12 months.
Ian Carter, Network and Programme Manager for the council’s Highways and Drainage Section, said that the council were very pleased with the work carried out by Velocity.
He said: “As with all local authorities, money is tight at present, so we have to look for the best ways to tackle problems in the most cost-effective manner. It’s about finding ways to make the money go further.
“A number of the rural back lanes were suffering from numerous defects following the winter including potholes, patching and edge deterioration. Something additional had to be done.
“As we had not worked with Velocity before, we initially trialled the Velocity patching machine and were pleased and impressed by the results, so we brought them back for a programme of work.
“The feedback we’ve had from the public has been very good. Residents we have spoken to are delighted while members and officers within the council have been impressed too.
“We are very pleased with the work the Velocity team carried out and will certainly be looking to use them again in future.”
Official figures reveal that UK councils repaired two million potholes at a cost of £99 million last year, but the Asphalt Industry Alliance has predicted that it will take 11 years and £10 billion to clear up Britain’s existing pothole problem.
Meanwhile, the AA recently announced that £140 million made available by the Government for pothole repairs was “a drop in the ocean”.
“The UK has a pothole epidemic and many local authorities are simply overwhelmed by the backlog of defects,” said Velocity Managing Director Dominic Gardner.
“It is a rising crisis that calls not just for more money – which is certainly needed – but for new thinking too. As the adage goes, do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always got.”
Manned by a highly-skilled operator and a machine driver, Velocity vehicles can repair a pothole in about two minutes – a fraction of the time it takes a conventional repair gang to do the job manually. The repairs are environmentally-friendly as they use exclusively cold materials.