A JCB machine that can fill potholes in just eight minutes has been trialled in Dundee.
The JCB Pothole Pro made its way across the city as part of a nationwide mission to repair Britain’s roads.
The pothole fixer was launched just this year, and is four times quicker than standard methods to repair potholes.
It can also do it at half the cost.
JCB Pothole Pro product specialist Paul Swallow said: “It’s been a hugely successful trial and I’m confident that everyone involved got to see just how effective the JCB PotholePro is at fixing potholes permanently and at half the cost of current solutions.
“Potholes are a huge concern for councils all over the country. One of the issues with repairs at the moment is that in most cases they are only short term fixes – and that’s where the JCB Pothole Pro differs.
“Just like when you have a filling, the dentist has to carefully remove all the decay so your tooth can be filled properly without recurrence of pain.
“It’s just the same with a pothole: it needs to be prepared properly before it is filled so the pothole doesn’t open up again within weeks.
“That’s exactly what the JCB Pothole Pro does; it cuts, crops and cleans the hole so a permanent repair can be carried out.”
The machine costs around £165,000 but JCB say it cuts the cost of filling a pothole from £60 to £30.
Pothole related car damage was up 37% in the last year, despite traffic levels plummeting due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Tayside Contracts Transport Services Manager Bob Ritchie added: “During the week-long demonstration we were able to make full use of the JCB Pothole Pro in live conditions within Dundee and there is no debate on its effectiveness and efficiency.
“We were able to demonstrate the machine to some members of our joint committee including councillors and our convenor, Angus Forbes.”
Tayside Contracts senior operational managers representing the constituent council areas of Angus, Perth & Kinross, as well as Dundee also saw the machine in action.
“I think it fair to say that all were suitably impressed,” added Mr Ritchie.
Councils around the country get a request to fix a pothole every 46 seconds. Nationwide more than £8.1 million was paid out in compensation to drivers last year for vehicle damage caused by potholes.
West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said: “I was very impressed with the new pothole repair system. Having seen it in action repairing potholes in my West End Ward at Newhall Gardens.
“The speed and quality of repair was very good indeed and it this would result in Dundee having pothole repairs done to a very high standard and in a time efficient way, there are clear benefits.
“There is obviously a significant cost to purchasing new plant but this new pothole repair system is certainly worthy of consideration when the council looks at its capital programme as I can see obvious efficiency and road quality benefits.”
Councillor Angus Forbes, convener of the Perth and Kinross environment and infrastructure committee, added: “This pothole machine seemed to work as described, it doesn’t do the entire pothole job in one go, it simply cuts out the surrounding tar and tidies up the edges.
“Operatives still need to fill the hole with new tar.
“However, the feeling of the Tayside Contracts staff on site was that there is a time saving by using the machine, now that needs to be explored in more detail to see if the business case stacks up and recommendations on whether or not to buy the machine will come to the joint committee.”