Rubber road drives into West Yorkshire

Tarmac’s recycled rubber asphalt used for the first time in West Yorkshire.

A road in Bradford has become the first in West Yorkshire to be resurfaced with an innovative and sustainable asphalt manufactured from waste tyres.   

A section of Otley Road in Eldwick has recently been resurfaced by Bradford Council’s highway maintenance north team using a product that has been developed by Tarmac and uses granulated rubber from recycled tyres.

Tarmac’s ULTIPAVE R solution became the first rubber-modified asphalt in the UK to receive BBA HAPAS approval earlier this year. When used with Tarmac’s ULTILOW warm mix technology, the company claims that further sustainability benefits are delivered saving an average 3.5kg of CO2e per tonne compared to traditional asphalts.

Tarmac’s Ian Carr, senior technical manager, contracting, said: “We are delighted to have been working with Bradford Council over recent months to find a high-performing solution that meets road users’ needs but also, importantly, offers lower carbon emissions. It’s great to see the authority embrace innovative new products like this which deliver real benefits to both residents and the environment.”

Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport at Bradford Council, said: “We have a duty to reduce waste and tackle climate change which is having a devastating effect on our planet. Using this innovative new product from Tarmac is a positive step in terms of decarbonising our operations. We will continue to work with suppliers and contractors to ensure that using materials like this becomes standard practice.”

Depending on the thickness of the road surfacing, Tarmac has calculated that up to 750 waste tyres could be recycled in every kilometre of road resurfaced with the ULTIPAVE R solution, which can help reduce the 120,000 tonnes of rubber waste including 500,000 tyres that are exported from the UK annually.

Approved for use on motorways and the strategic road network, the material is a high-performance asphalt using SMA technology suitable for most locations, from heavily trafficked motorways to rural roads. Using high grade aggregates, it claims to deliver outstanding lasting texture, along with skid resistance and impressive reductions in road noise and surface spray. 

The development of rubber asphalt is part of Tarmac’s commitment to sustainability, with the business recycling seven million tonnes of waste from other industries every year. It also builds on the company’s reuse of waste tyres to power its cement kilns and its commitment as a net user of waste.

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