Pot-hole pro is a real ‘game-changer’

A ‘game-changing’ machine purchased by Scottish Borders Council has helped repair 700 potholes in just a few months, it has emerged.
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The local authority acquired the JCB Pothole Pro – which costs around £165,000 or can be hired for £600 a month – amid growing concern at the poor state of the region’s roads.

Without the finance available within the council’s budget to carry out extensive resurfacing works the Pothole Pro is seen as a way of patching up roads and keeping them safe.

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The Pothole Pro combines three machines in one and can repair a pothole in less than eight minutes – four times quicker than standard methods and at half the cost of current solutions.

The Pothole Pro in action.The Pothole Pro in action.
The Pothole Pro in action.

Scottish Borders Council is one of four local authorities to arms themselves, the others being Fife, North Lankarshire and Highlands – with the machine covering more than 10,000 miles of highways.

In the Borders specifically 700 potholes on the council’s ‘A’ road networks have been filled in the first few months of operation.

Councillor John Greenwell, the council’s executive director for Roads Development and Maintenance, said: “We are determined to tackle the problem of potholes, not just on our major roads, but also in our towns and villages.

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“We know it is one of the biggest bugbears for our residents and this machine is really proving a game-changer in improving our road network.”

Roads campaigner Mark Morrell, the self-styled ‘Mr Pothole’, who has been highlighting the problems on Scotland’s roads for years, said: “Thankfully there is an answer with JCB’s Pothole Pro. I’ve seen the machine up close and it’s having a huge impact – getting through the backlog of repairs in record time.”

The machine cuts the defect, crops the edges and cleans the hole – mechanising jobs traditionally done by pothole gangs and delivering up to a 50 per cent cut in daily costs.

It is equipped with a 600mm wide planer and an integrated dust suppression system, enabling the operator to plane a full carriageway from the kerb, without repositioning.

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The machine also comes with a sweeper/bucket and hydraulic cropping tool, allowing a uniform hole to be prepared by the operator from the comfort of their cab.

The machine’s development has been personally led by JCB chairman Lord Bamford, who said: “We simply cannot allow our road networks to continue to be blighted by potholes. JCB’s solution is simple and cost effective and fixes potholes permanently, first time.”

In the UK, councils get a request to fix a pothole every 46 seconds and more than £8.1m was paid out to drivers last year for vehicle damage caused by potholes.