Digger-maker JCB had signed its first deal for its revolutionary pothole fixing machine.
The construction equipment manufacturer – which has factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham – launched its Pothole Pro product in January in an effort to help tackle the UK’s pothole problem.
The machine can repair a pothole in less than eight minutes and at half the cost of current solutions.
Now Stoke-on-Trent City Council – which helped to develop the machine – has become the first authority in the UK to invest in the Pothole Pro.
JCB Director Paul Murray said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Stoke-on-Trent City Council become the first authority in the UK to invest in the machine.
“The council has been involved right from the very early stages of its creation. The team has worked with us throughout the development process and also took part in trials last year. They’ve clearly seen the benefits and believe in the machine which as manufacturers is great news.”
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage at the city council, said: “We know how important road maintenance is to our residents and that is why we are at the front of the queue for one of these fantastic machines.
“The fact that it’s made by JCB means we are also supporting a local business that employs a lot of people from our city, which is a really nice added bonus. “
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He added: “We’re currently investing £25 million – one of the biggest ever sustained investments in the city’s highways, with potholes filled and pavements and roads resurfaced on a daily basis. This machine is another weapon in our armoury as we make sure our road network is maintained to a high standard for residents, businesses and visitors.
“At a time when every penny counts for local authorities, we’re delighted to have been at the forefront of developing and trialling this new machine. We can’t wait to get our hands on it and put it to work on the city’s roads.”
The machine will be supplied in the next few weeks by JCB dealer Gunn JCB.
Between now and the end of June, a fleet of PotholePros are being demonstrated to potential customers across the whole of the UK and Ireland.