New kit helps council squeeze in more repairs

Chris Ames

Transport bosses in Cornwall have hailed a new pothole repair machine that is designed to be used on the most constricted parts of the road network.

Road repair specialist Velocity developed the new machine in collaboration with customer Cormac, based on experience of using Velocity's spray-injection process over the past four years working together in the county.

Cllr Geoff Brown, portfolio holder for transport at Cornwall Council, with Mr Bayley and Mr Gardner

Council-owned Cormac needed a solution to tackle preventative and reactive maintenance on the most difficult parts to reach of its largely rural network.

Designed and manufactured by Velocity in Sunderland, the machines have been built on the smallest possible chassis. The firm said the short wheelbase and width of the vehicles allows for access to tight, single-track lanes found in rural areas as well as making working in busy urban areas easier.

Steve Bayley, network manager for Cormac, said: ‘This will significantly improve productivity so that our highways teams can cover more than double their daily target repairs.

‘It also allows relatively large areas of carriageway to be treated quickly, meaning teams can also pull in lower priority repairs in the process, and thereby slowing down the rate at which our roads deteriorate and reducing the need for future re-visits to the same locations.

‘It’s about time we started looking at innovative ways of starting to deal with this issue. This investment is going to deal with this problem, and that’s a major positive.’

Velocity said the new product follows the firm contributing to the development of a British Standard for Spray Injection Patching, BS 10947:2019.

Proposed by the Road Surface Treatment Association (RSTA), the new standard has been developed to give people a greater understanding of the use of spray injection patching, including the expected service life and suitability of the technique for repairs in different locations.

Dominic Gardner, Velocity’s managing director said: the standard will give customers increased confidence and understanding of the product.

He said: ‘For local authorities, the standard should make procurement easier and give clear expectations of how the product should perform and an indication of the expected life-span of repairs backed-up by a guarantee period.

‘Increasingly, we use spray-injection patching to carry out repairs to potholes and other defects in advance of surface dressing works. This standard also gives confidence to surface dressing contractors that areas treated with spray-injection patching are suitable for laying new material on top.’

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