Mender goes on a road-fixing bender


There’s a new weapon being used in the fight against potholes in Oxfordshire’s rural roads.

Oxfordshire County Council has been working with Highways Workforce to carry out trials of the Roadmender – a special mobile road-repairing machine that heats the existing road surface, combines it with some additional material which is then rolled, leaving seamless repairs.

Experts approve

The old road surface material is effectively recycled and rejuvenated in a relatively quick process, and recent trials in Wootton, Ducklington and Bodicote have been viewed favourably by our experts on the ground.

These recent tests are part of ongoing work being done by the county council to get the most out of the limited amount of money available to fix the roads.

Last month we announced an extra £13m for road maintenance in the coming financial year on top of our existing £18.5m programme of work – this follows last year’s additional £12m boost.

It is hoped that the Roadmender will join the county council’s defect-defeating arsenal that also includes the famous fire-breathing Dragon Patcher, which has been fixing rural roads for years.

Money is a major factor

These attention-grabbing techniques, along with more traditional daily work done by the road crews, have seen 7,277 potholes fixed since the start of this year alone.

Sean Rooney, our Service Lead for Highway Maintenance, said: “Money is a major factor when it comes to improving the condition of our roads and we need to do all we can get to get the most out of it.

“New ways of doing things need to be tested in real life situations to see how they perform. We have had some real successes which have gone from trials to business as usual, meaning our money goes further.

“One such trial has been the Paco Patch which is a system to repair the roads around loose or damaged drains and man holes. A trail last year led to some 250 Paco Patch repairs with only two problems reported.

“Of course, sometimes the trials in Oxfordshire and elsewhere show up problems and that experience is just as valuable. If something fails to perform we don’t use it until the problems have been addressed.”