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Carbon and cost cutting methods pave the way for pothole repairs in St Helens Borough

With a rise in reports against a backdrop of significant government funding cuts, St Helens Borough Council is taking an innovative approach in the war against every motorist's bugbear - potholes

Pothole repairs NLW

Article date: 19 February 2024

For the past few months, the council's highways department has been trialling low carbon methods to repair road defects such as potholes which form as a result of wear or sinking.

Using road repair materials made from recycled aggregates, bitumen and polymers, 'Elastomac' and 'TexBand' are both fast-setting, waterproof liquid that don't require compacting - repairing potholes up to four times faster than it would take with asphalt, shutting out water to prevent ingress and help extend the life of the road for years to come.

The new process - which consumes 80 percent less energy than traditional pothole repairs - has to date been used to carry out repairs around Chalon Way in St Helens town centre; Millfields, Eccleston; Islands Brow, Moss Bank and Victoria Road in Newton-le-Willows. Work has also recently started on St Helens Linkway and Boardmans Lane, with more scheduled to take place in other locations across the borough over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile last year, the council invested in a new multi-purpose Multihog vehicle to reduce the long-term costs of road repairs around the borough.

A 400mm wide road milling patch planer, powered by the Multihog operator from the comfort of the cab, excavates defective road areas with precision, allowing for a more permanent repair by removing the underlying imperfections.

Works are carried out in a fraction of the time they would normally take to do by hand - resulting in the highways team having the capacity to do more repairs on a daily basis, saving not only precious time but money, too.

Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, Deputy Leader of St Helens Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, said:

"Between January and December last year, the council carried out 3,767 carriageway and pothole repairs - more than the 1,611 potholes reported to us - but within excess of 800 potholes reported since December alone, we've got to look at sustainable and cost-effective solutions like this if we are to deliver the improvements residents expect to see on such a tight budget.

"With significant cuts in our budget reducing the length of the road network we can treat and the cost of a single standard pothole coming in at £93, we've got to take a different approach of investing to save which these methods are great examples of tackling potholes more quickly and effectively.

"The borough's roads are something I and road users alike would like to see in the best possible conditions, so we would always encourage residents to report potholes through our website for our highways team to come out to inspect at the earliest opportunity and book in any necessary repair works."

To report potholes in St Helens borough, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/report-it