Brent Council deploys innovative technique to tackle potholes in the borough

19th June 2019

Twice as many potholes are set to be filled in Brent, as the borough becomes the first in the capital to adopt the widespread use of spray-injection patching to repair roads.

Working with road repair specialists, Velocity, the Council is pioneering the widespread use of spray-injection patching in the capital to tackle potholes and other defects with minimal traffic disruption.

Velocity’s innovative technique involves a three-stage process where defects are cleared using high velocity air, then perfectly sealed to prevent further deterioration before aggregate coated in a bitumen emulsion is applied, again at high velocity.

The new material is compacted from the bottom-up, leaving a permanent repair that is ready for traffic immediately.

The project follows a successful trial of the technique, where over seventy roads were repaired with positive feedback from residents.

Tony Kennedy, Brent Council’s Head of Highways and Infrastructure, said: ”With traditional excavate and fill repairs we would repair between twenty to twenty-five defects per day. Using this technique, we can repair in excess of fifty per day.

“We evaluated the technique with regards to customer satisfaction. The response and compliments we’ve had from residents have been very encouraging.

“A question we’re frequently asked by residents is ‘Why didn’t you fix that one?’. A benefit of this approach is that Velocity will repair every defect they find on the highway, working from one end of a street to the other.

“The process takes just minutes and costs local authorities a fraction of the price of traditional ‘excavate and fill’ repairs.

“Because it’s so fast and uses a mobile works process, road closures are not necessary, minimising inconvenience for road users.”

Councillor Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s lead member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning, said: “We want to keep traffic moving and make our roads the best they can be – despite the savings we’ve had to find due to significant and on-going Government funding cuts.

“It’ll take some time but we believe this new way of filling potholes quickly will improve the condition and appearance of our road network while giving taxpayers even better value for money.”

Dominic Gardner, Velocity’s managing director, said: “We are very proud to be working in partnership with Brent Council on this extensive project. To adapt to the busy urban environment, we have adjusted our machine and process to protect street furniture, verges and vehicles.

“Working in partnership with the highways team at Brent Council, we are already making good progress, repairing over fifty defects per day, seven days per week.

“This is the most extensive spray-injection patching project carried out in London. Other London boroughs have already expressed an interest in using Velocity and are keen follow Brent’s lead.”

Velocity will be visiting every ward in the borough, spending on average two weeks in each. This will be repeated in 2020.