UK road repair specialists Velocity have responded to claims that it will take 11 years to fill in the nation’s potholes by claiming that they could slash the backlog.
A report this week from industry experts, the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), noted that it will take more than a decade for England’s local authorities and 17 years for those in Wales to fill in potholes because of the huge backlog of road repairs.
Despite authorities filling in 1.7 million potholes last year, the backlog is growing – but Velocity are confident they could dramatically reduce the waiting time if more local councils followed the lead of Kent, Hertfordshire, Northumberland and many other forward-thinking highways authorities that use Velocity’s road repair services.
Sunderland-based Velocity’s fully self-contained vehicles can tackle a problem that blights road-users throughout the country far quicker than conventional road repair methods – and at a fraction of the cost.
Manned by two highly-skilled operators, their vehicles can permanently repair a pothole in about two minutes – a fraction of the time it usually takes a conventional repair gang to do the job manually.
Northumberland County Council was able to repair between 750 and 800 per week last year.
According to the AIA, the average pothole repair ranges from £35 in Wales to £55 in England, with around £90m spent on pothole work last year.
But Velocity’s UK Sales Manager Phill Lewis says an average Velocity repair will cost just £18.
Mr Lewis said: “Our last winter of freeze-thaw-freeze left the UK’s roads riddled with new potholes, with estimates of 1.6 million nationally. This winter wasn’t as bad but, as a result of the national cut-backs, local authorities are struggling to catch up with the backlog.
“Velocity’s machines can carry out fast and efficient repairs, which mean shorter road closures and improved public perception.
“Given that our vehicles can make such dramatically improved repairs compared to conventional methods, it’s clear that we could make major inroads into the pothole backlog if more highways authorities followed the lead of those already working with us.”
And he called for the Government to provide authorities with increased funds to help with road repairs.
Although the Government gave an extra £200m to councils to help towards the problem, the AIA report claims the amount “has proven woefully inadequate”, suggesting it would take a one-off cost of around £10bn to get roads back into reasonable condition.
Mr Lewis commented: “Although the extra funds are welcome, they are not nearly enough. Compensation claims are soaring, placing greater burdens on already strained council budgets.
“Many authorities use a repair gang to fill in the potholes, but our machines can carry out a better, longer-lasting repair in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost.”
Designed and built in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Velocity’s machines use high-velocity air to clean potholes, seal the defect and introduce a specially-formulated mix of aggregates and bitumen emulsions. The process leaves a permanent, level repair that is instantly ready to take vehicles of up to 40 tonnes. As heat is not involved in its application, this greener method involves exceptionally low CO2 emissions. The process produces minimal waste material and causes no further damage to the road base. The process isn’t just used to remove defects, as it is an excellent preventative tool to halt road surface deterioration.
- Potholes are formed by water seeping through cracks in the asphalt surface of a road. When temperatures plunge, the water freezes, expands and causes the road surface to rupture. The ice then melts, leaving a space below the surface, which caves in under the stress of vehicles and eventually forms a pothole.
- Last year an army of AA streetwatchers said England now had an average of 14.9 potholes per neighbourhood, with the North-East the worst with an average of 19 per neighbourhood.
- The AA also reported that pothole-related claims were up 400%.