The first of Hampshire’s brand new Dragon Patchers has arrived to help repair the county’s roads, damaged by the winter weather. The County Council has bought two Dragon Patchers for exclusive use in Hampshire, and the second is due for delivery before Easter.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, went to see the machine first hand.
Good roads are vital to Hampshire’s long-term prospects as a successful place to live and work. A good highway network also has a huge impact on residents’ quality of life. We are continually exploring ways we can get the most for our money and looking for new innovations and developments to help us get the job done on the highways network efficiently, thoroughly and with as little disruption as possible.
I’m really pleased the County Council was able to put in extra funding to match the Government’s pothole allocation for councils earlier this year, and we were able to buy two Dragon Patchers dedicated to Hampshire. The recent snow and ice caused a lot of extra damage to the road network, and the winter is certainly not over yet. Frost, ice and snow all damage roads, but I’m confident the Dragon Patchers will quickly start to make a difference where it’s needed.
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.
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.