HIGHWAYS chiefs in East Sussex have revealed their new secret weapon as they prepare for winter weather.
The high-tech Jetpatcher allows potholes to be repaired more quickly and at a fraction of the cost, cleaning them out with a blast of high-pressure air and filling them with a mixture of stone and bitumen.
East Sussex County Council has taken delivery of three of the machines, which allow highways crews to fix an extra 270 potholes a day.
The Jetpatcher was unveiled as the authority highlighted what it is doing to prepare for cold weather, and urged motorists to be ready for winter.
The council has 12,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled and 24 gritters, including 18 new machines named by county schoolchildren, ready to roll into action 24 hours-a-day in the event of cold weather.
However, motorists are being asked to ensure they’re ready for winter, by checking they have essential equipment such as de-icer, blankets, an ice scraper and shovel in their car.
Roger Williams, the county council’s head of highways, said: “It’s vital we’re prepared both for any cold snap and the toll bad weather can take on our roads network, and the Jetpatcher is a valuable new weapon in our armoury.
“It can allow us to carry out more repairs, more quickly and efficiently, and to carry out permanent repairs on smaller potholes before they develop into bigger ones.
“Our gritter teams are on permanent standby ready to be deployed when the Met Office forecasts indicate cold weather is on the way, but people can play their part by making sure they’re prepared.
“By following simple steps such as keeping essential winter items in their car and ensuring their phone is charged, people can make sure they’re not caught out if extreme weather strikes.”
Meanwhile, the council has unveiled a new tool to allow people to report potholes, and other problems such as broken paving slabs or faulty street lighting.
Fix My Street allows people to pinpoint the location online and check on an interactive map if the problem has already been reported – easing the process of reporting and avoiding duplication.
The service can be found at http://eastsussex.fixmystreet.com/