Gone in 120 seconds: Amey’s world-class road patchers can fix potholes in two minutes

14 April 2014
Image of a vehicle, repairing potholes in the road.
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Following successful local trials, road users in East Anglia and the East of England will soon see some innovative machines maintaining the trunk roads in the region.

Leading public services provider Amey is rolling out three state-of-the-art road maintenance vehicles, as part of two Highways Agency Asset Support Contracts (ASC) commencing in April.

The firm has invested £500,000 on two road patchers, which were recently trialled in Bedfordshire and can fix road potholes within two minutes, and a high-speed sweeper to improve the condition of the ASC Area 6 (East Anglia) and Area 8 (East of England) road networks.

The road patcher machines, which have been custom-built for Amey, and are brand new to the Highways Agency network, can be fully controlled from the cab.

This not only improves safety by removing the need for a road worker to be in the carriageway but also is great news for drivers as the pothole is fully fixed in just two minutes, rather than the hour that conventional methods can take.

The patchers will become part of a ‘find and fix’ assessment process whereby we carry out inspections of trunk roads and motorways with the vehicle with a pot hole being fixed rapidly once the pothole is reached. This can usually be carried out without the need for traffic management.

The driver operates a robotic arm which extends from the cab over the pothole and fills it with material to fix the hole. The patcher can then move onto another location as needed.

The other key maintenance vehicle, the Brodd Europa high speed sweeper is brand new to the UK and features a unit which is towed behind a tipper and can sweep at 20 km per hour.

The Swedish-built unit will allow the network to be swept more regularly, improving both its condition and road-user safety with less deterioration and surface flooding of the roads.

Margaret Seear, Business Director for Amey said: “Things like potholes can be a real headache for drivers and we are pleased to provide an efficient and cost-effective solution that has real benefits for our customer, our employees and road users.”

She added: “At Amey we pride ourselves on investing in innovative and cutting edge technology as part of the service we provide.”

Under the five-year contract for Area 6 Amey will be responsible for improving and maintaining routes through Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and parts of Cambridgeshire. Area 8 covers Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

The contracts, both worth up to £200m over five years, extend beyond routine maintenance to; scheme identification, value management, design and construction of schemes up to £5m; and design and management of Schemes in excess of £5m.

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