Hampshire brings on the dragons for rapid road repairs

Hampshire Highways’ two new dragon patchers are fired up and out across the county fixing potholes and road defects

Jun 17 2019

Dragon patchers

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “Good roads are critical to Hampshire’s future prosperity, and to the quality of life of all those who live and work here.  While we prepare to take some tough decisions on how we can deal with an estimated budget shortfall of £80 million, we remain committed to using the resources we have wisely and to the best effect.”

The County Council agreed to secure two dragon patcher machines exclusively for use on Hampshire roads by adding local funding to the extra money received from the Government’s Pothole Fund, to maximise repair work on the network throughout the year. 

Councillor Humby continued: “Making sure Hampshire’s extensive road network is well maintained is one of our top priorities.  By investing in new technologies and exploring the use of innovations such as these two dragon patchers, we are finding more cost effective and efficient ways to deliver the best possible services we can to Hampshire residents while balancing our budget.”

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.

Residents can report potholes and other road defects direct to Hampshire Highways at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems