Councillor Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment said: “It’s great to see Elliot out and about, making a real difference to some of Hampshire’s rural villages. The County Council has invested in two new dragon patcher machines for exclusive use on Hampshire roads. We have made a commitment to the people of Hampshire to use the resources available to us as efficiently and effectively as possible, and are always looking at new innovations so the most appropriate treatments and techniques are used for the task in hand.”
Elliot the dragon patcher was named by Cllr Stewart Wooles of Sparsholt Parish Council, following an event earlier this year. Over 80 representatives from Hampshire’s town and parish councils attended this event with a focus on how highways and waste services are delivered to Hampshire’s 1.3 million residents. After a demonstration of a dragon patcher, attendees were invited to suggest names.
Councillor Wooles said: “Elliot was the friendliest name I could think of for a dragon, and this dragon patcher is going to be ideal for a village like Sparsholt. Elliot will be able to start at one end of the village, and we won’t need to have roads closed off or traffic and buses diverted while it makes it’s way through, tackling potholes one at a time and fixing them.”
The dragon patcher is quick and efficient: it can repair a defect five times faster than traditional methods and is effective in all weathers as its ‘flame’ is able to heat and dry a frozen or wet road surface before repairing it. The whole operation, which is done by one person working from the cabin, takes just a few minutes, and the road is ready for traffic immediately afterwards. The two dragon patchers will work on a ‘find and fix’ basis, tackling all potholes that need fixing in an area in a day’s work.
It is nicknamed the ‘dragon’ because it expels flames to de-ice and dry out the road surface. It is then cleaned with compressed air and sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen emulsion. With the surface repair completed in as little as two minutes, the patcher can move on to the next repair.
Residents can report potholes and other highways defects direct to Hampshire County Council online.