POTHOLE REPAIR: New JCB machine set to be tested in Staffordshire
Staffordshire County Council is set to test out a new pothole repair machine manufactured by local digger giant JCB.
The Pothole-Pro, which can repair up to 40 defects a day, was launched by Rocester-based JCB last month and has already been trialled on roads in Stoke on Trent.
County councillor David Brookes, who represents the Uttoxeter Town ward close to JCB’s headquarters, has asked if the machine will also be used to repair Staffordshire’s roads.
At this month’s full county council meeting he described the machines as a “fantastic new initiative” and called for them to be brought into use in Staffordshire.
In a question submitted ahead of the meeting he asked: “Will Staffordshire County Council or its highways contractors be purchasing the excellent new JCB pot hole repairing machines?
“How soon will I be seeing these machines repairing the many potholes within my division and throughout the county of Staffordshire, where I understand that they are manufactured, supporting local jobs and efficiently repairing our broken highways in a more cost effective and efficient way, especially now we have no need to follow the EU procurement rules – or perhaps can you tell us how many of these brilliant machines already been ordered or purchased?”
Councillor David Williams, cabinet member for highways and transport, responded: “The county council’s highways team have been working with and advising JCB on the development of their pothole-repair and other highway maintenance priority solutions for a number of years.
“JCB’s new Pothole-Pro machine was launched on 11 January. As a flagship Staffordshire based company the county council was delighted to support the launch, including sharing publicity materials across highway sector professional networks.
“Arrangements to test the equipment on Staffordshire’s road network are in development and we hope to carry out trials in the coming weeks. This involves testing its practical use against a range of different parameters, including different road construction types and where sites are physically constrained.
“The trial will inform both the county council and JCB on how the Pothole-Pro machine compares with the range of different pothole repair techniques already used across Staffordshire’s diverse road network. It will show whether the product can add value to Staffordshire’s road repair operations now and will also provide JCB with useful feedback on further development potential.
“I’ll be pleased to share the findings with members in the coming weeks.”
Words: Kerry Ashdown, Local Democracy Reporter
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