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Yorkshire Times
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2:59 PM 5th June 2020

Empty Roads Leads To Councils Delight!

Councils have been taking advantage of empty roads for wide-scale pothole repair.

Quieter roads have allowed for whole-scale works on British roads, as Councils have seen an opportunity to fill as many potholes as possible. In Shropshire for example, the number of potholes have almost halved, while Derbyshire County Council have completed over 28,000 pothole repairs during lockdown.

Even at the national level, central Government has been increasing the funds to fill potholes. Just last month, Minister for Transport, Grant Shapps announced a further £1.5bn to fill potholes, on top of the nationwide £2.5bn fund in the most recent budget to tackle the issue.

However, in a time of tight pursestrings, frugal and cost-effective spending will be needed. Typically, traditional pothole repairs are more costly, inefficient and ineffective than they need to be due using processes built around materials designed for building roads, rather than fixing them. The approach has been the equivalent of playing squash with a tennis racquet; you can do it but it’s far from ideal.

However, innovative SMEs within the road repair sector have started to ask why are pothole repairs filled with the same materials made to build roads, when they can fill potholes with materials made specifically for the job.

Roadmender Asphalt, a Sheffield-based bitumen technology company have recently developed a novel approach to using mastic asphalt for pothole repairs, using new materials specifically designed for pothole repairs. One of which is named Elastomac; a novel thermoplastic innovation that includes seven end of life tyres recycled into every tonne.

Harry Pearl, CEO of Roadmender Asphalt, offers insight into the revolutionary material;

"Rather than having to spend time square cutting and excavating potholes before filling them with glue covered aggregate that takes hours to collect, has a 5 hour shelf life and then requires vibratory compaction; potholes can now be filled with a purpose designed flowable repair material that’s made from sustainable recycled materials, is heated on site, welds itself to the existing road and delivers a totally waterproof permanent repair.

"By avoiding excavating the patch the process requires on average 80% less material with no waste to carry away meaning contractors are able to complete 5 times more patches per day at significantly reduced cost."