HUNDREDS of miles of Hampshire’s roads have been prepped for winter, with potholes filled in time for the colder weather.

The county council’s road’s team took advantage of the warmer summer months to treat road defects, some of which can damage residents’ cars, resulting in repairs having to be made.

To do this, the authority used an array of treatment techniques, including surface dressing and micro asphalt which represent excellent value for money by keeping our roads in good condition and preventing potholes.

The council says that these treatments are “widely used” and recognised as “the most cost effective method” of keeping the roads in the “best possible condition for as long as possible” by slowing the formation of potholes and other defects, such as cracks.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire Highways teams have made the most of the hot, dry summer to complete over 300 surface dressing schemes.

“The large number of completed schemes represents over one million square metres of maintenance – that’s the equivalent size of 142 football pitches!”

He added: “Surface dressing is a preventative measure – it successfully extends the life of the roads, allowing us to make the most of our resources and keep all those who live and work here moving on Hampshire’s road network.”

Potholes are formed by water seeping into the road surface, freezing and expanding. They are a frequent annoyance to motorists, causing damage to their vehicles.

One way the authority has looked to target them is with a Dragon Patcher. The flamethrower-wielding machines can repair up to 150 holes per day, and were deployed to find and fix road damage as part of a new highways strategy.

Owned by Skanska, Hampshire County Council’s roads contractor, the truck expels flames to de-ice and dry out the road surface, before cleaning it with compressed air.

The potholes are then sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen emulsion. It is claimed the patcher is five times faster than traditional methods, saves money and, because it is operated from the vehicle’s cabin, is also safer.