Road preservation experts Velocity have been boosted by news that the Government are releasing £168m to tackle the UK’s potholes – including a £15m spend within the North East.
The Sunderland firm – part of the Reece Group – is already in talks with many of the region’s authorities to root out a solution to the region’s pothole backlog.
Velocity are already working with Redcar and Cleveland Council, and are also in discussions with decision-makers within several more of the region’s local authorities including Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and their Sunderland hometown.
With the cash released to encourage local authorities to adopt the latest in highways repair technology, Velocity are confident their hi-tech machines can help councils make inroads on a pothole epidemic that is the bane of road-users and councils alike.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that £168m is being given to councils for road repairs from a dedicated Pothole Repair Fund, with a condition of the money being that local authorities must publish monthly updates on how many potholes have been repaired.
The company has repaired 250,000 potholes across England and Wales over the past 12 months.
Velocity managing director Dominic Gardner said: “Like the rest of the country, the North East has a pothole epidemic and many local authorities are simply overwhelmed by the backlog of defects.
“We have previously called on the government to make more funding available to tackle the potholes backlog. Money – or the lack of it – is the fundamental reason for the deterioration of our road network.
“We therefore welcome these additional funds which will help local authorities start to get to grips with what is arguably the biggest single issue on Britain’s roads.
“We are hopeful that more of the North East councils will utilise these funds to hire in our expert services in the months ahead.
“Councils who have adopted new technology and machinery for highways repairs have been allocated a larger share of the fund, so authorities are being encouraged to use innovative techniques such as ours.”
Rather than conventional repair gangs, Velocity utilise hi-tech patching machines that can carry out repairs that are both faster and more cost-effective than traditional methods.
Manned by a highly-skilled operator and a machine driver, Velocity vehicles can repair a pothole in about two minutes – a fraction of the time it takes a conventional repair gang to do the job manually.
Gardner added: “We believe that if more councils utilised Velocity as part of a targeted management asset strategy, this would free up funds for them to utilise on other recurring highways defects, which will extend the lives of our region’s roads.
“As a proud North East business, there is nothing we would love more than to get our teeth into helping to solve an issue that is the bane of drivers, cyclists and local authorities.
“We’re delighted to be already working with Redcar and Cleveland Council but we’d like to work with all of our local authorities to help make the North East roads the UK’s best.”