Could old tyres be the answer to the UK’s pothole problem? Infrastructure support company Amey thinks so.
Teaming up with manufacturer Roadmender Asphalt, the company has created a new rubber-modified road surfacing material that’s made from old tyres.
Trials, which are taking place in Sheffield, have already shown that the mastic asphalt-based material is durable and could speed up road repairs significantly. It is also an eco-friendly way to recycle HGV tyres that have seen better days: the process requires nine ‘end of life’ HGV tyres to every tonne of material laid.
The road-surfacing material can effectively repair a range of defects in roads and pavements, such as potholes, cracks, and damage around manhole covers and gullies.
As you’d expect from something made from old HGV tyres, it has a high rubber content, making it extremely sticky and easy to pour when heated. When tipped onto a pothole or crack, it spreads beyond the edges of the defect and sticks firmly to the surface. As a result, it is hard-wearing and watertight – two key factors in road repair!
So far, the trial has focused on one particularly troublesome road in Sheffield which had been awaiting repair and sustained high levels of surface cracking.
Speaking about the trial, Dave Lawrence, Amey principal operations manager said: “We have checked the road regularly since and found that it has done very well. The product’s durability, and the speed with which it can be applied will enable us to make noticeably improved repairs to roads and pavements.”
He continued by saying: “Road repairs can be very invasive and taking up the existing surface using heavy machinery often means lengthy road closures. However, this new mastic asphalt material is not only sustainable, it can also reduce our carbon footprint by as much as 96%.”