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Cambridge roads to feel the fire of the dragon in campaign to repair potholes

By Adrian Curtis

Dragon Patcher is to help fight the pothole plague in Cambridgeshire
Dragon Patcher is to help fight the pothole plague in Cambridgeshire

Innovative piece of kit will help tackle increasing pothole menace

An innovative piece of kit known as the 'Dragon' has come to scale the roads in Cambridgeshire to help fight the campaign on potholes.

The 'dragon patcher', will work across the county's roads to complete pothole repairs. It is being used for the first in the region and has already made around 1700 repairs.

It can repair up to 150 potholes a day and is faster and quieter than traditional methods.

Nicknamed the 'dragon' because it fires out flames to dry out the road surface. It is then cleaned with compressed air and sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen. This is much quicker and simpler compared to traditional methods.

Traditionally, an inspector would go out and look at the pothole and a team of two or three would come out to repair. With the dragon, it will free up time for other work as a pothole is fixed in around three minutes so it can move onto the next.

Cambridgeshire county council's chair of the highways and community infrastructure committee, Cllr Mathew Shuter said:"Our roads are important to us and we are listening to people's frustrations by spending a further £3m on pothole repairs and have a programme to resurface roads. This innovative piece of kit will help us to maintain our roads in Cambridgeshire more efficiently.

"The dragon patcher is around five times faster than traditional methods, it is mobile which is particularly good for rural areas and can do more work for the money.

"We work hard to ensure our roads are in a good condition and prevent them from deteriorating. We have set guidance on how to spend the funding available to ensure it is managed efficiently to get the best results.

"Having this exciting piece of equipment means we can cover the whole county and it is not just about filling more potholes, but improving the quality of the work as well.

Since January when it arrived in Cambridgeshire, it has made around 1700 repairs to potholes and larger patches across Cambridgeshire.

In order to keep the roads maintained, people need to report potholes by using the council's online tool.


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