The ground-breaking technology of road repair specialists Velocity has won high praise after helping Dorset County Council win a leading public services award.
Dorset won the Best Service Team award for Highways, Winter Maintenance and Street Lighting in a prestigious ceremony organised by the Association of Public Service Excellence.
The award was presented by Emmerdale actress Kelsey Beth Crossley in recognition of Dorset Highways’ continuous improvements to efficiency and performance during challenging economic times.
Part of the Reece Group of Companies, Velocity provide highly-skilled teams and machines to authorities across the UK.
Velocity technology is part of the Dorset Highways team’s innovative road repair techniques that are saving more than £1.3million a year compared to conventional road patching techniques.
There was also 1,200 tonnes less of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere while repairing 5,500 defects over a 12-month period.
“The use of Velocity technology demonstrates our commitment to innovative solutions,” said Dorset Highways Recycling Manager David Blackburn. “We aren’t afraid to try out new and alternative techniques to improve productivity and make savings wherever we can.”
Mr Blackburn explained that the Council first trialled Velocity’s road repair services in 2009. “That very quickly turned into a more permanent use of the technology,” he said. “It was immediately clear that their technology could save us so much money compared to conventional hot repairs that we could not afford to ignore it.
“We have a wide range of tools in the box when it comes to road repairs, but with a rural county like ours Velocity is an integral part of our approach and is an absolutely perfect solution in terms of good value for money, fast response and maintaining safety.
“As with most councils during the extremely tough economic climate, Dorset is cash-strapped. At the same time, we’ve suffered consecutive very challenging freeze-thaw winters, causing water to seep down into cracks, with potholes forming as a result.
“Until we took on Velocity’s expertise, the backlog of defects was overwhelming. Thanks to Velocity, we are able to carry out a blend of preventative and reactive maintenance ensuring that we effectively manage the backlog of defects and meet the vast majority of target timescales, a situation that is certainly not replicated in other areas, as nationally there is clearly a huge problem.
“Carrying out a repair in a matter of minutes minimises traffic disruption so Velocity also helps with public perception. In addition, the process is cold mix and cold lay, generating significant carbon savings compared to conventional methods, so environmentally and in other respects velocity is a real winner for us.”
APSE assistant chief executive Mark Bramah said: “When public finances are squeezed it is more important than ever that local councils are able to demonstrate to local taxpayers that they take value for money seriously. By benchmarking with other councils these winners have shown that they are providing both excellent frontline services and value for money for local citizens.”
Velocity Sales manager Phill Lewis added: “We are delighted that Dorset see Velocity technology as such an integral part of their road maintenance commitments – and congratulate the Highways team on winning a prestigious award.”
The Reece Group is the holding company for a number of innovative north east engineering businesses – including Pearson Engineering and Pearson Engineering Services, Velocity UK and Responsive Engineering Group – operating in the defence, subsea and construction markets.
The group’s strategy is focused on expanding the business in existing and new markets, both organically and through acquisition, creating employment and wealth in the North East of England.