TWO new flamethrower-wielding pothole busters, nicknamed “Dragon Patchers”, are to take to the county’s highways as civic chiefs pledge to end road misery.

The machines can repair up to 150 holes per day, and will be 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.

The council confirmed it is set to be used on both rural and urban roads.

It comes after the council matched a £3 million government grant, giving the council’s roads team £6 million to play with.

Road boss councillor Rob Humby said: “I am delighted at the announcement of the extra highways money.

“It is a very affordable way of repairing our roads.”