Fire-breathing 'dragon' helps to tackle potholes in Peterborough

Motorists across Peterborough are benefitting from a pothole patching machine.

Peterborough Highway Services, the council's road maintenance partnership with Skanska, is using the patcher to provide preventative maintenance on roads to help tackle the problem of potholes.

The machine is nicknamed the ‘dragon’ due to its fire emitting nozzle.  

The area which needs repairing is cleaned with compressed air and then sealed with a combination of stone chippings and hot bitumen emulsion. 

The surface is then ready to take traffic. In colder weather conditions a flame is applied to warm the surface. 

The patcher also treats minor cracks and crazing that could otherwise develop into potholes, thereby treating a potential defect before it occurs. 

Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development for Peterborough City Council, said: "Potholes are a nuisance for all road users. If we can find a more efficient and effective way to tackle them it is good news for the council and everyone in Peterborough. 

"We were excited to see Skanska's machine in action in Peterborough and have been very pleased with the results." 

Jim Daughton, business director at Skanska, said: "The patcher is a lot faster than traditional techniques used to fix potholes; on average it treats six times more defects per shift. It eliminates the need for traffic management systems, which means we can keep the roads running and avoid delays to motorists."

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