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Highways England trials road surface made with recycled tyres

Date: 09 August 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

A new road surface that uses recycled tyres in its construction is being trialled on a section of the M1 by Highways England. 

The section with the new surface, which has been developed by Tarmac, is on the southbound M1 between junctions 23 and 22 near Leicester. 

Highways England is funding trials into the new asphalt mix, which is said to have both economic and environmental benefits, to see if it could be widely used for road surfaces in the future.

Tarmac estimates that up to 750 waste tyres could be used in every kilometre of road surfaced with the new material, depending on the thickness of the road.

The trial on the M1 will test the effective durability of the road surface on a busy stretch of the network.

Corporate group leader Martin Bolt, who oversees innovations projects for Highways England in the Midlands, said: "Highways England is committed to investing in innovation to help us meet the economic, environmental and efficiency challenges we face in our changing world and also to delivering environment improvements as we strive to ensure our road network works more harmoniously with its surroundings. 

"This trial could well be the first step to rapidly reducing the number of tyres piling up in the UK and beyond. 

"The economic and environmental potential of this new asphalt is significant and we are delighted to be working with Tarmac in this trial."

Tarmac managing director Paul Fleetham said: "Technical innovation has a key role to play in improving the environmental performance of our roads. 

"As a previously overlooked waste stream, used tyres offer a significant opportunity to unlock the benefits of a circular economy. 

"There has been a very positive response to our rubberised asphalt since the first local authority trial was announced in May and we're very pleased to be working with Highways England to explore its potential to support the sustainability of the strategic road network."