Thermoplastic Repair System Could be the Future of Pothole Fixing?


Neath Port Talbot Council road repair crews have been trialling a new pothole repair method which uses a plastic based substance instead of traditional tarmac.

Initial results from the tests suggest the use of the new material could be faster, cleaner and less expensive.

The new substance is “hot applied” to repair and preserve the condition of existing carriageway/footway surfaces.

Compared to traditional methods of repair it is a speedy process and as there is no excavation required and the material is supplied in meltable bags which are placed directly into a boiler, there is little to no waste produced when undertaking a repair.

A Council spokesman said:

“In the trial, a total of two hundred and fifteen square metres was repaired in around two days using approximately three tonnes of material.

“If this was done with the traditional ‘excavate and reinstate’ method this would have taken considerably longer, required approximately 21 tonnes of tarmac and would have produced a similar amount of spoil waste that would have needed tipping off.”

The costs of the new material are higher than traditional hot tarmac. However, in the trials carried out in Neath Port Talbot, the coverage area per tonne worked out around seven times greater in the trial, making it overall, less expensive to use. Also, roads/footways being repaired using the new material could be used within just 20-30 minutes of being laid.

Council officials will now continue to evaluate the new repair system following the successful trials.While main roads and motorways in England, Scotland and Wales are maintained by Highways England, Transport Scotland and the Welsh Government respectively, councils are responsible for the upkeep of local roads.

Potholes – collapsed areas in the tarmac resulting from the pressure of traffic and bad weather – are a menace for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and give local authorities massive repair bills.

Cllr Ted Latham, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering said:

“It’s good to see we are looking at new, quicker and hopefully less expensive methods of dealing with potholes which are major issue for all local authorities and which cause problems for our motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”