Trial for machine that fixes potholes in two minutes

Pothole patcher
Pothole patcher

Central Bedfordshire Council is one of the first authorities in the region to trial a new, innovative road patching machine that could cut down pothole repair times dramatically.

The machine, pictured, which can fix potholes within two minutes rather than the hour that conventional filling methods can take, is being tested at the moment across roads in the Dunstable area.

The driver operates the whole process from the safety of the vehicle cab, without having to go onto the road. A robotic arm is used which extends from the cab over the pothole and fills it with material to permanently fix the pothole. As the whole process takes two minutes, if road users come across one in the road, they know it won’t be long until they’re back on their way again.

Cllr Brian Spurr, said: “Maintaining our roads is a really key priority for the council, although we’re conscious that there is a balancing act between keeping the roads safe and minimising disruption for our residents, as well as keeping our highways teams safe while they work. We’re constantly investigating new ways to keep up to speed with road improvements and trying out innovative technology like this ticks all the boxes to help us keep the road network moving.

The road patcher is still going through a trial phase but could potentially be another way that we can improve the service for our residents.”

Employees from the highways team at Amey, which runs the highways service on the council’s behalf, have been receiving training in how to use the new machine, ready for use on the local motorways and trunk roads.