Shropshire Star

Highways team go the whole hog with sustainable maintenance

Telford & Wrekin Council is trialling a maintenance machine that takes on heavy work but is powered by gas.

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Telford & Wrekin Council and Multevo staff

From pothole repairs and grass cutting to winter maintenance and flood water pumping, the ‘Hydrohog’ helps cut down the time it takes to carry out work.

It is also powered by hydrogen, with the council potentially being one of the first local authorities in the UK to adopt this low-carbon option.

The ‘Hog’ was trialled repairing potholes and patches in Ironbridge by the council’s highways partner, Balfour Beatty Living Places. The trial forms part of the council’s climate change commitments to deliver a more sustainable highway maintenance service that is fast, safe, and cost-effective.

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood, commercial services and regeneration, said: “As a council we are committed to do everything we can to tackle climate change and are always looking for new ways to embed more sustainable practices to reduce our carbon footprint.

“We are excited to have been working closely with Multevo – an award-winning highways, civils, vegetation and traffic management service.

“The new dual-fuel hydrogen and diesel system reduces diesel consumption by up to 40 per cent, whilst still having the power required to productively repair potholes – something I am sure all our residents can get on board with.”

Residents may soon see this technology be used to support maintenance of the Silkin Way, a 14-mile cycleway route which is part of the council’s future strategy in improving the route to encourage more environmentally friendly travel options.

The multi-purpose design of the machine means one piece of equipment can be used for numerous tasks year-round, with a range of attachments being considered including a planer, de-icing sprayer, heavy duty snow blower, flail arm and weed brush.

Josh Sweeney, director of marketing and growth at Multevo said: “Multevo is delighted to be working with such forward-thinking partners who are open to new ways of working and innovation to help us achieve better outcomes like being more cost-effective whilst also reducing our impact on the environment.

“As we’re based locally, establishing best practice here in Telford and Wrekin is really important – helping preserve and improve our highways assets and supporting the local community in our work.

“We are also currently looking to recruit highways apprenticeships in the town to help new starters learn and earn whilst working alongside our experienced teams too.”