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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Thermal Road Repairs makes history with place on Manchester City Council’s highways maintenance framework

Thermal Road Repairs has become the first specialist low carbon SME to win a place on one of Manchester City Council’s five highways maintenance frameworks, awarded at the end of April.

Thermal Road Repairs is one of three contractors appointed to the Lot 1 framework which covers reactive and planned repairs to carriageways, footways and cycleways. The lot is valued at £14m over four years and covers all the council’s 32 wards.

Based in Crewe and Manchester, Thermal Road Repairs is an equipment designer and manufacturer as well as a contractor. This means that all plant, materials and equipment for the Manchester maintenance work will be sourced very locally.

For Thermal Road Repairs managing director Aidan Conway, the win offers an opportunity to build its local workforce and give more back to the community. “This contract win means we can employ more local people, and build on our programme of working with and employing pre-release offenders.”

Thermal Road Repairs’ system delivers an 85% reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional methods because it reuses failed material – which also means it generates zero waste. A computer-controlled heater raises the temperature of asphalt in and around a pothole to a set point before a small amount of new material is added and then the whole area compacted. The repair is seamless which means there are no weak points which can fail again.

Because there is no hydraulic equipment needed to break out the road, the Thermal Road Repairs process is very quiet, particularly when electric rollers are deployed too, making it ideal for urban repairs. The heaters can be charged and topped up through solar power and can run on biofuel.

Although fixing potholes using the Thermal Road Repairs systems is already significantly faster than many repair methods, one of the company’s goals over the course of the four-year framework is to fine-tune its processes further. “We will specifically be looking to improve our techniques to deliver higher operational outputs and increased value for our customer,” says Conway.

Thermal Road Repairs is constantly investing in research and development, based on feedback from customers and its target of producing a net zero carbon repair method. Its latest contract with Manchester City Council builds on successful relationships with authorities in Clackmannanshire, Highlands, Bath and Northeast Somerset, Richmond and Wandsworth, Staffordshire, Sheffield, Royal Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead as well as with National Highways and Peel Ports.

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