HARSH winter weather and heavy rain have taken their toll on roads in Scotland's largest city in the past few years resulting in potholes on many key routes.

As drivers cite potholes as one of their main motoring gripes, the repair bill for Glasgow City Council also runs into millions of pounds.

Thousands of complaints were received over potholes in Glasgow in 2021 with almost 12,500 reports received by the local authority.

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However, now it seems the local authority road might have found a solution with a new piece of kit. Roads bosses are trying out a new pothole machine to help avoid having to repeat road repairs. 

The Multihog tractor has been hailed by council road staff elsewhere as a saviour. It travels at 40kph and has been praised for helping fix potholes more speedily resulting in less disruption for motorists and helping traffic flow.

Potholes continue to be a problem for motorists

Potholes continue to be a problem for motorists

Glasgow City Council, which has thousands of reports of potholes every year and faces multi-million repairs, hopes the vehicle will help keep streets smoother. 

A council spokesman said: “We are taking delivery of new a vehicle that we will be testing out on road repairs over a six month period, starting late February.

Mounting repair costs for potholes could be avoided

Mounting repair costs for potholes could be avoided

He said it will mainly be used as a “planer that lifts damaged road surface before new asphalt is laid.”

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Pointing out its smaller size was useful for limited spaces he added: “We will be using the vehicle to deal with areas of less than 10 metres squared and it can support our basic aim of completing high quality repairs to the road surface at the first time of asking without having to repeat any work.

“The vehicle should also be able to move quickly between jobs and so we are keen to see the machine in action to get a better idea of how effective it might be as part of our road repairs programme.”

The council want to reduce temporary repairs, which can’t withstand being battered by the weather. 

The Multihog patch planer enables road surfaces to be planed to a width of 400mm and a depth of 125mm and saves on the costs of infill materials by accurately removing only what is necessary. It produces a sound base for reinstatement and helps to reduce transport and recycling costs by creating a re-usable material.

Pothole machine could be a game-changer for Glasgow roads

Pothole machine could be a game-changer for Glasgow roads

The local authority is responsible for a road network of 1,750 km to maintain. However with new machine a five man team could now reinstate between 200 and 400 m² a day, making it at least four times more productive.

The council will be using the Multihog tractor with a planer attachment. It can be converted for use as a gritter or saline solution spreader to treat roads in winter.

Last year it was revealed that a one-off investment of £96m is required to bring the roads up to a “good standard”.

Council bosses said the projected figure highlighted the cost of repairing every single defect on the city’s roads, regardless of how small that defect might be or how minimal an impact it might have on how a road is used.

The figure was emailed to councillors who had asked how much it would cost to fix all of the city's potholes.

Cities across Scotland have a backlog of repairs as road maintenance works were halted between April and July 2020 due to the pandemic.

Glasgow City Council insisted its roads were in a "consistently better" condition than the rest of Scotland.