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New machine aims to resolve pothole problem

Andy Olive, highway inspector (left) and Councillor Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment.

Andy Olive, highway inspector (left) and Councillor Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment.

The very latest in technology is being used by Northumberland County Council to combat the potholes affecting the roads.

Over recent years, severe winter weather has caused significant damage to the highway network and an increase in potholes.

Now local services staff will be armed with a new ally in the fight against pothole defects – the Jetpatcher.

Following a successful trial, the council has bought two Jetpatching units – self-contained units that carry all the necessary equipment and materials to repair potholes.

The Jetpatcher has proven to be a cost effective alternative to conventional temporary repair fix methods, improving productivity by 60 per cent.

Councillor Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment visited the council’s Bearl depot near Hexham to see a demonstration of the Jetpatcher unit in action.

He said: “Repairing potholes on the county’s roads is a real challenge. We are moving from a reacting to a proactive approach to potholes repair.

“The Jetpatcher machines we use in the north and the west of the county are helping to make much more long-lasting repairs. We have been able to make good improvements to our unclassified roads and some C roads.”

The council’s highways and local services teams are well prepared for icy road conditions with a full stock of 36,000 tonnes of salt now in place at depots around the county.

A fleet of 29 multi-purpose gritting vehicles with plough attachments are serviced and in use, with another four vehicles in reserve.

The authority also has five gully tankers which are available to assist in case of flooding caused by rapid snow melt.

It has two fitters on 24-hour emergency standby in the north, west and south-east of the county to deal with emergency repairs

There are over 1600 salt bins in areas which are steep, have steps or difficult junctions and over 200 grit heaps in rural areas.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for the council’s alerts service to be kept informed about any winter weather issues at Facebook.com/nccalerts or Twitter.com/@northumberlands

Anyone can report a pothole or request that a grit bin is refilled online at www.northumberland.gov.uk

 

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