New machine to repair potholes

A man repairing potholes.
A man repairing potholes.
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A HI-TECH pothole repair machine has been drafted in to help Northumberland County Council deal with the aftermath of frozen roads.

To work alongside the repair techniques used by its own highways teams, the council has employed Velocity – a company specialising in pothole repairs.

A patching machine of the same name uses compressed air to fill the pothole with a mixture of stone aggregate and bitumen, creating a permanent repair.

Highway inspectors from the council have surveyed nearly all the county’s A and B roads and footways in both rural and urban areas, and have identified a significant increase in potholes due to the bad weather.

Coun Alan Armstrong, executive member responsible for highways, said: “We are committed to pro-actively managing our 5,000km of highway network.

“We are filling around 750 to 800 potholes each week at present, and our teams will continue to focus on this important work until holes are made safe and we can prevent further deterioration, along with avoiding damage to vehicles and any possible injury to pedestrians and cyclists.

“I would encourage members of the public to report potholes or damage to roads to as soon as they can.”

Potholes form when water enters the road surface through cracks.

It then freezes and expands damaging the road surface.

Rapid thaws following snow fall and extreme cold weather will speed up the process.

In some parts of the county, particularly in the hillier areas of the north and west, the full extent of the winter damage is still to be realised as some ground temperatures have only recently risen above zero degrees Celsius.

The council will continue to survey the rest of its network well into February.

Members of the public are encouraged to report potholes by calling 0845 600 6400, e-mailing environment@northumberland.gov.uk or using its new smart phone app, available free from www.lovenorthumberland.org.uk