Revealed - how government's £9.6m road repair pot will be spent in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 05:30 10 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:58 10 December 2018
A fresh purge of Suffolk’s potholes with an innovative road repair machine is set to kick off this week, thanks to cash from the Chancellor’s Budget.
Philip Hammond announced a pot of money for road repairs in October’s Autumn Budget to be spent by March, with Suffolk opting to use around £300,000 of its £9.6million share investing in a new repair system.
The Nu-phalt thermal road repair device recycles the existing asphalt to repair surfaces, meaning no landfill waste is produced.
According to Suffolk Highways, the kit reduces carbon emissions by up to 85% than on existing machines, and creates a fresh surface with no material joins meaning that repairs are expected to last for longer.
The new technology arrives in Suffolk today, with its first runs expected to take place tomorrow.
Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “It’s important that we regularly look at different ways to maintain our road network more effectively.
“We need to ensure that our roadworkers are in the best possible position to respond to road defects quickly and safely; whilst also delivering environmentally friendly, value for money and high quality permanent repairs.
“This is why I am particularly pleased that we are investing in the Nu-phalt thermal road patching process, which will assist our highways teams to deliver even better repairs on our highway network.
“I very much welcome this commitment from Suffolk Highways to explore new ways of keeping our network safe and moving, and I look forward to reporting back on the results of this approach in the new year.”
Suffolk Highways said it expects the kit to reduce costs, increase the number of first-time repairs rather then temporary fixes and reduce waste.
Locations for where the new equipment will be used has yet to be decided, but bosses confirmed the service would also look into fitting it to existing Suffolk Highways vehicles for reactive gangs to use in the future.
A full programme for utilising the remaining money from the Chancellor’s pot is currently being drawn up.
In June, Mary Evans announced a thorough review into all aspects of road maintenance in a bid to utilise its budget most effectively.
A harsh winter last year with regular freeze and thaw cycles on the roads left the county having to prioritise thousands of pothole repairs.