Nottinghamshire County Council will invest £1.75m buying new equipment which will speed up and increase the range of options to repair roads in the county.
The new equipment, which will be added to the county’s fleet, will improve the way potholes and road repairs are done.
The green light was given for this at a meeting of the council’s Communities and Place Committee today (Thursday, 7 February).
Via East Midlands manages Nottinghamshire’s highways network on behalf of the county council.
Committee chairman Councillor John Cottee said: “Last winter’s bad weather and the cold spring resulted in a rapid deterioration of many of our roads due to the cold weather and effects of freezing and thawing on road surfaces.
“As a result, we repaired more than 115,000 potholes last year – double the amount compared with the same period the previous year. So, understandably the volume of repairs led to concerns about the future sustainability of this approach. However, potholes are the number one concern for residents and we’ve listened to this.
“Road repairs and resurfacing is one of our top priorities and this £1.75m is a long-term investment to save more money further down the line whilst improving the quality of road repairs, increasing productivity and extending the life expectancy of our roads and is another example of our continuing investment in the network.
“These methods provide us with two new tools in our armoury when it comes to tackling potholes in the county, further ensuring that we can make the right repair at the right time.”
The first of the two techniques, this £1.75 million investment will fund is a spray injection chip patching system. This treats surface defects effectively, sealing the target area, filling cracking and removing small potholes whilst smoothing the surface.
Cllr. Cottee explained: “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 that teams can also pull in more 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.”
The spray injection chip patching system also produces a better finish and it reduces the likelihood of road repairs failing prematurely.
The second vehicle will be used in conjunction with existing equipment to allow the council to make patching of larger areas of road, where the road surface has suffered significant deterioration, economically viable and also carry out deeper structural repairs. This will improve the quality of ride for road users as well as the way the road looks.
“The fact that the process is mechanised means the filling material can be transported using hotbox storage and laid in optimum condition and compacted,” said Cllr. Cottee. “These controlled conditions mean that the serviceable life of repairs can be extended.”
Use of this equipment across Nottinghamshire will be prioritised and depend on factors such as the type of road and nature of the repair needed, with existing methods of repair continuing across the network.
Cllr. Cottee added: “After investigating many other options, we concluded that this approach is the most effective. We will be monitoring and reviewing how well it’s working a year in to better inform our approach in the future.
“The vehicles should be out and about on our roads during the coming autumn. And the other advantage is that workers will be freed up to do other essential work on our roads.”
The county council will still continue with its existing approaches to fixing potholes, including find and fix repairs using either Viafix or patching, ensuring the highway remains safe for road users.
A £20m cash pot was set up by the county council in 2018 to invest in Nottinghamshire’s roads.