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London Borough of Richmond: Making Funds Go Further

Here at Thermal Road Repairs, our pothole repair machine provides an innovative and greener solution to effectively repairing potholes. In this blog, we’ll discuss the case study of the London Borough of Richmond, who enlisted our help to repair their roads.

Read on below to learn more.

Road to be repaired

The Challenge

The London Borough of Richmond was looking for more efficient ways to carry out pothole repairs.

“The process we were using was inefficient, time consuming and costly, and the quality output often not good,” says Nick O’Donnell, assistant director of traffic and engineering in the Borough, “And we were getting a lot of complaints.”

In an urban environment, noise, environmental constraints and disruption to road users and the community mean that traditional pothole filling techniques aren’t ideal.

The Solution

O’ Donnell came across the Thermal Road Repairs (TRR) system at a conference and was able to speak with officers at Northamptonshire County Council who were using the system.

The TRR system uses a thermal infrared heater, which uses liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and power gained from its in-built solar panels, to heat up failed and failing material in the pothole and surrounding asphalt. The existing asphalt is then mixed with a small quantity of new asphalt to create a homogeneous material before being compacted with a roller.

Because the asphalt around the edges of the pothole is also heated, there is no joint; the material all bonds together to prevent the pothole from re-forming. Not only is this process much faster than traditional techniques, there is also no requirement for vehicles to take waste material away or bring fresh asphalt in since everything is contained in the one repair unit.

The next step for Richmond was to set up a trial where we could demonstrate to council members and technical staff how the system works. O’Donnell’s team then created a business case which showed that, using the council’s own operatives, cost savings of 40-50% could be achieved.

The Borough’s members were also impressed by our environmental credentials; our pothole repair machine and method produces an average of 0.4 tonnes of CO2 per eight-hour shift compared to 2.4 tonnes for traditional techniques.

In the natural course of progression, Richmond purchased the TRR system in Autumn 2020.

The Results

Due to changes internally, Richmond initially ran the TRR system using our operatives. Employing TRR operatives, Richmond was achieving between 20-30% cost savings. The next step was for us to train up workers from the borough’s framework maintenance contractor, pushing their savings up even further.

Richmond’s goal, however, has never been to simply spend less money, but rather to repair more roads with the same amount of budget. “If we can repair 50 roads instead of 30, then we are improving the roads for more communities in the borough,” says O’Donnell, “We also think that the quality of the repairs is better, which means that we can keep the roads in a reasonable condition for longer before having to invest in further road repairs or resurfacing.”

If you’re looking for a high output, low emission and permanent solution for pothole repairs, then get in touch with Thermal Road Repairs today.

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