Blazing a trail in rapid road repairs as County Council commits funding for dragon patchers

Two new dragon patchers will soon be out helping to repair Hampshire’s roads damaged by the extreme cold snap earlier this year after Councillor Perry confirmed extra funding for highways maintenance at the County Council’s Cabinet meeting today (18 June 2018).

Jun 18 2018

Councillor Perry explained: “We know that good roads are important to residents – to the quality of life of all those who live and work here and also to Hampshire’s long term prosperity.

“Earlier this year, the Government allocated £3million from the national Pothole Fund to Hampshire, and we will be matching this with a further £3million which will go immediately into more ‘Find and Fix’ gangs who are tackling the damage on the roads after the winter, and also on two new dragon patcher machines working exclusively on Hampshire roads.”

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 wet road surface before repairing it.   The whole operation, which is done by only one person working from the cabin, takes just a few minutes, and the road is ready for traffic immediately afterwards.

Councillor Perry continued: “While we are preparing to take some tough decisions about how we will plug a projected £80 million funding gap by 2021, we remain committed to doing everything we can to address the issues we know people care about most.  Making sure Hampshire’s extensive road network is fit for purpose is one of our top priorities.

“There is no getting away from the fact that local government faces growing financial pressures, and the reality is that the County Council must live within its means to protect the critical and everyday type of local government services we all depend upon.  This is why we will continue to use our capacity and skills, through investment and innovations such as these dragon patchers, alongside collaborative working with partners and communities, sound financial management and careful use of reserves to ensure Hampshire is well placed to withstand future pressures and sustain local services.”

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet agreed the proposals for the 2021/22 budget.  These proposals will now be presented to a meeting of the full County Council on 19 July.

The full report is available at: http://democracy.hants.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=134&MId=3473