Dragon fire is helping make potholes a thing of the past in Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 07:46 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 12 March 2019

Cambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANT

Cambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A specialist machine that patches up potholes has made more than 1,700 repairs across the county this year.

Cambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANTCambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANT

The machine – known as a dragon patcher - is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council and can repair up to 150 potholes a day.

The council says it is five times faster than traditional methods for fixing potholes and is nicknamed the ‘dragon’ because it fires out flames to dry the road surface.

The pothole is then cleaned with compressed air and sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen.

Traditionally, an inspector would go out and look at the pothole and a team of two or three would come out to repair. With the dragon patcher, the council says time is freed up time for other work as a pothole is fixed in around three minutes.

Cambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANTCambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANT

Chairman of the council’s highways and community infrastructure committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “Our roads are important to us and we are listening to people’s frustrations by spending a further £3million on pothole repairs and have a programme to resurface roads. This innovative piece of kit will help us to maintain our roads in Cambridgeshire more efficiently.

“The dragon patcher is around five times faster than traditional methods, it is mobile which is particularly good for rural areas and can do more work for the money.

“We work hard to ensure our roads are in a good condition and prevent them from deteriorating. We have set guidance on how to spend the funding available to ensure it is managed efficiently to get the best results.

“Having this exciting piece of equipment means we can cover the whole county and it is not just about filling more potholes, but improving the quality of the work as well.”

Cambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANTCambridgeshire County Council's dragon patcher in action at Wyton. Picture: ARCHANT

Since January when it arrived in Cambridgeshire, it has made around 1,700 repairs to potholes and larger patches.”

The county council is now asking members of the public to report any potholes that they see via an online tool.

To report a pothole visit www.highwaysreporting.cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

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