Hampshire County Council has set out how it will be making the most of the money allocated from Government as part of the national Pothole Repair Fund.

The county council will receive one of the largest allocations from the fund in the south and according to the Government, the local authority “demonstrates best practice in highways maintenance”.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the funds were being given in response to the work already carried out across Hampshire to tackle the problem and that the county council “has shown it is one of the leading areas in the country to beat potholes, and is receiving extra cash as a result”.

Hampshire County Council plan to carry out a range of different activities to combat potholes in the county, including:

  • £1million on bringing in extra Jetpatching machines which are ideal in the current good weather. These are high speed patching machines which can fix numerous smaller defects. Bitumen emulsion bond-coat is forced deep into cracks, crevices and potholes to improve the adhesion. Bitumen emulsion and an appropriate aggregate are mixed, then immediately compacted into the void at high velocity. The result is a level, sealed repair that quickly blends into the existing surface. 

• £1million on hiring multihog machinery and deploying small patching gangs. The multihog gives highways maintenance crews the ability to repair up to 200 square metres of road in just one day. The single piece of equipment can plane out the existing road and is immediately followed up with a new road surface. This means repairs can be made more speedily than by hand or with the use of a mini-planer which, in turn, means less traffic disruption and a greater number of defects repaired in a shorter space of time.

• £2.35m on repairs to haunches and road edges, which strengthens road structures and ride quality.

• £1m on patching larger areas using machine lay for areas of road up to 30m in length across the entire width of the carriageway

• £0.25m on a programme in urban areas fixing ‘bellmouths’ of junctions where the joints are beginning to fail and crack

• £0.25m on a programme of joint sealing and concrete joint repairs with new surfacing to protect water impress leading to greater damage in future.

• £0.15m on infrared repairs which heat up the road material to allow lasting repairs to cracks and wall voids and are particularly effective around gullies and metal work. 

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “This money is certainly welcome as there is a great deal of work to be done to repair the damage done to the roads during the recent long and exceptionally wet winter.

“Our initial estimates came to around £36million, so this £6million added to the £11.5million received from Government last month is very welcome but means we are not yet able to finish all the work needed to get the roads back to the condition they were in before the winter.

“In recent years, Hampshire has switched to a longer term management approach in the way the roads are repaired. This means that the highway network is managed as an asset with decisions of what treatment needs to be carried out, at what time, based on ‘whole life’ costings to reduce expensive reactive repairs in the future. If we hadn’t adopted this approach, the effect of the winter on the roads would have been much worse.”