JCB ask Britons to nominate worst potholes – and vows to fill them with new £165k vehicle


Last week we brought you the news that JCB has unveiled a specific vehicle designed to fix the nation’s ravaged roads.

The PotholePro is a £165,000 heavy-duty model that’s claimed to be able to fill a crater in less than eight minutes and can complete jobs that usually require three different road-repairing machines. 

Now the British digger maker wants to prove just how capable the vehicle is by filling in three of the nation’s worst known potholes and is calling on drivers and members of the public to nominate the biggest and most damaging they’ve come across.

Hundreds of people have responded to JCB on social media to post their recommendations for the worst potholes they’ve seen. But do you know of any that are bigger than those already submitted?

Coming to a road near you - if you ask for it: JCB has called on the public to nominate the three worst potholes in Britain. It has vowed to fill the three it thinks are the biggest and most damaging

Coming to a road near you – if you ask for it: JCB has called on the public to nominate the three worst potholes in Britain. It has vowed to fill the three it thinks are the biggest and most damaging 

In a string of social media posts on Friday in conjunction with National Pothole Day were JCB’s were sent from JCB’s official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, offering to put the PotholePro to use to showcase its incredible capabilities for repairing battered tarmac.

In a posts to thousands of followers online, it said: ‘To mark National Pothole Day today, we want you to help us find Britain’s three worst potholes… and we’ll come to fix them with our brand new PotholePro machine! Submit your entries below… #PotholePro ‘NationalPotholeDay’

So far, around 100 people have responded to the posts across the three platforms, highlighting terrible potholes they’ve come across on their travels.

One Facebook follower of JCB posted this image of a Land Rover Defender in Topsham, Exeter, with a front wheel lodged in a pothole on a back road

One Facebook follower of JCB posted this image of a Land Rover Defender in Topsham, Exeter, with a front wheel lodged in a pothole on a back road

Pothole campaigner, Mr Pothole, took to Twitter to post a selection of images of terrible craters in Northamptonshire

Pothole campaigner, Mr Pothole, took to Twitter to post a selection of images of terrible craters in Northamptonshire 

This image of a water-filled pothole near Aberlady in East Lothian could be one of the contendors for JCB to fill for free

This image of a water-filled pothole near Aberlady in East Lothian could be one of the contendors for JCB to fill for free

One of the responses was from former rugby star and I’m a Celebrity contestant, James Haskell, who sent an Instagram reply asking if he could drive the multi-functional machine. 

But JCB has reiterated to This is Money that the offer to come fill the nation’s worst craters remains – and it wants as many nominations as possible so it can pick the three it wants to attend and rectify.

Chief Innovation officer Tim Burnhope said: ‘Potholes are an incredibly emotive topic and we’ve seen a huge interest in our PotholePro machine, not just from councils across the UK but from members of the public who have to live with this scourge on a daily basis.

‘Since we launched the PotholePro last week we have been inundated with requests on our social media channels to ride to the rescue of those affected, so we thought it was a good idea to give some power to the consumer, launching a search for the worst potholes in Britain.

‘Our campaign is urging as many people as possible to send us pictures of potholes which cause them grief and those judged to be Britain’s three worst will get a visit from our PotholePro machine. 

‘At JCB we believe we have the solution – one that’s been tried, tested and saves money for councils up and down the land.’ 

JCB sent this post from the brand's official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts as part of a call to arms on potholes

JCB sent this post from the brand’s official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts as part of a call to arms on potholes 

Former rugby star James Haskell got involved, asking if he could drive the new PotholePro

Former rugby star James Haskell got involved, asking if he could drive the new PotholePro 

The PotholePro has been used in trials across Stoke-On-Trent for months and found to rapidly speed-up the process of fixing cratered roads . JCB says it will cost around £600-a-week for authorities to lease

The PotholePro has been used in trials across Stoke-On-Trent for months and found to rapidly speed-up the process of fixing cratered roads . JCB says it will cost around £600-a-week for authorities to lease

JCB is making big claims about what the PotholePro can do, saying it is the most efficient vehicle of its type and can not only reduce pothole filling costs and time but also cuts the emissions impact usually involved to fix them.

While it will be priced at around £165,000, it will be available to local authorities and road operators to lease for £600 per week. 

The PotholePro has already been strutting its stuff in trials across Stoke-on-Trent, where it has been found to accelerate road repair times by 700 per cent.

The manufacturer is specifically looking for those living in Cornwall, recently named the pothole capital of the UK to post examples of shocking examples on their roads.

According to a study by MoneySuperMarket, some 210,331 potholes have been reported to Cornwall Council in the last three years.

Cornwall has been named the pothole capital of the UK with 210,000 reported over the course of three years – but Lancashire has staked a claim for Britain’s worst crater

The worst and best areas in the UK for potholes – as Cornwall comes top with 210,311 

The worst areas for potholes in the UK, in terms of the number reported to local councils, were as follows:

1. Cornwall – 210,311

2. Cambridgeshire – 184,402

3. Derbyshire – 172,297

4. Devon – 147,779

5. Oxfordshire – 110,106

6. East Riding of Yorkshire – 106,144

7. Durham – 99,630

8. Rotherham – 83,964

9. Hertfordshire – 72,230

10. Fife – 70,254

The least potholed roads in Britain, in terms of how many were reported over the last three years, were:   

1. Kensington & Chelsea – 141

2. Isle of Anglesey – 290

3. Sunderland – 320

4. Rutland – 687

5. Portsmouth – 811

6. Bexley – 882

7. Hammersmith & Fulham – 1,283

8. Haringey – 1,451

9. Lambeth – 1,607

10. Bracknell Forest – 1,706

It was followed by Cambridgeshirte and Derbyshire councils, which had received 184,402 and 172,297 pothole-related complaints over 36 months.

How to nominate potholes to JCB

Facebook: reply here

Instagram: reply here

Twitter:  reply here

On the flip side, the fewest potholes reported were in the super-posh Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, with just 141 potholes reported in the past three years. 

Commenting on the arrival of the PotholePro, AA president Edmund King said: ‘The toll of pothole damage on cars is already breathtaking. 

‘However, as more people take up cycling due to avoiding public transport in the pandemic and if e-scooters are legalised, then sorting our poor road surfaces becomes more important than ever. 

‘JCB has taken the initiative to fix these problems, and we’re excited to see its new PotholePro take to the streets.’ 

How the JCB PotholePro works 

The first part of the process uses a 600mm-wide ‘planer’, which is made-up of rotating teeth that mill away the ground to a depth set by the operator. This creates a level cut that gives the pothole structure. Without this, if you were to try to put tar straight in the hole, the repair would not last a month, say road maintenance experts.

The PotholePro’s multi-tool also includes both the sweeper and cropping tool. It can rotate in any direction which makes it perfect to work around ironworks.

The 360-degree cropping tool squares off the edges of the pothole. Normally, this process is done by a jack hammer or circular saw and in is linked to causing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome among those who operate them. With the JCB PotholePro, it completely eliminates this risk.

The single vehicle has the capability to perform pothole repairs usually carried out by three separate machines, JCB says

The single vehicle has the capability to perform pothole repairs usually carried out by three separate machines, JCB says

The next phase utilises the ‘sweeper’, which can either rotate and collect the material or the brush lifts up out of the way to leave a bucket to scoop large volumes of chippings at once.  

All the material collected can then easily be dumped into a support truck for recycling.  

Tests with local authorities and contractors have already shown that the JCB PotholePro can complete a pothole repair in less than eight minutes – the equivalent of fixing 700 potholes a month. 

It also has a 25mph top speed, meaning the vehicle can travel up and down roads under its own power, also reducing transport costs for operators.

The machine has been used in trials on roads in Stoke-on-Trent for months and the city council has worked with JCB over the last 12 months as innovation partners to develop the PotholePro. 

In initial testing, the machine completed 51 road repair jobs in 20 days, which would have taken a team of up to six operatives 63 days to complete normally.

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