Sunderland firm takes One Show spotlight

Iwan Thomas, Victoria Hazael (Cycling UK), Vince Crain (The AA), Keith Jones (ICE) and Dominic Gardner (Velocity) filming for The One Show.
Iwan Thomas, Victoria Hazael (Cycling UK), Vince Crain (The AA), Keith Jones (ICE) and Dominic Gardner (Velocity) filming for The One Show.

Sunderland road repair specialist Velocity takes centre stage on national TV tonight.

The firm will go head-to-head with two other firms on BBC1’s The One Show, in a segment dubbed ‘Pothole Wars.’

The three will compete under the watchful eyes of an expert panel to determine the best way to tackle the potholes that frustrate drivers nationwide.

The panel was headed by Keith Jones, Director of the Institution of Civil Engineers, who has more than 40 years’ experience of highways maintenance. He was joined by the AA’s Patrol of the Year 2017 Vince Crain and Victoria Hazael, representing Cycling UK.

Velocity’s innovative technique involves a three-stage process in which defects are cleared using high velocity air, then perfectly sealed to prevent further deterioration before aggregate coated in a bitumen emulsion is applied, again at high velocity.

The new material is compacted from the bottom-up, leaving a permanent repair that is ready for traffic immediately.

The process takes just two minutes and costs local authorities a fraction of the price of traditional ‘excavate and fill’ repairs.

Because it is so fast and uses a mobile works process, road closures are not necessary.

Velocity’s process was compared with two other innovations in road repairs, including a thermal repair system and a machine to plane the road surface before patching with new asphalt. Each team performed repairs to identical defects.

The panel observed each process, with the judging criteria including time to perform a repair, costs, durability and smoothness of the finished surface.

With each process compared side-by- side, Velocity was declared the winner of the contest and the best way to fix a pothole.

Managing director Dominic Gardner, said: “The judges were enthusiastic about the speed and cost saving of Velocity patching.

“More so, they were impressed by the durability of the repair and the fact that it’s ready for traffic immediately.

“The team are all very proud to have won the ‘Pothole War’, and grateful to the panel.

“Filming the feature was also a great opportunity to demonstrate the work we are doing for local authorities throughout the UK.

The contest will be presented by Iwan Thomas and is scheduled to be broadcast tonight at 7pm.