Coventry motorists will soon be driving on rubber roads, as a trial of a new type of road surfacing begins in the area.
The city council is the first in Britain to put Tarmac’s new surface to the test: a new type of asphalt that uses granules of rubber generated from old car tyres.
The benefits of rubberised roads are numerous. Firstly, the use of rubberised roads in the USA has yielded a curious upside: quieter traffic. The material has been observed to reduce the noise of tyre roar.
When trialled on a dual carriageway between Perth and Dundee in Scotland, it was found to reduce traffic noise by an impressive 25 percent.
Secondly, it’s a worthy way of recycling the 40 million tyres used in the UK every year. Tarmac estimates that the use of recycled rubber for roads will amount to around 750 old tyres being used per kilometre of road.
That can fluctuate, based on the thickness of the road surface being laid. Collectively, around 120,000 tonnes of rubber waste that would have been exported, could be used in road surfacing.
“While plastic recycling has attracted media headlines, used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for our industry and the environment,” said Brian Kent, technical director at Tarmac.
“Rubber is used in asphalt across the US, but in the UK there is a lack of the necessary industrial infrastructure required to allow manufacture of this type of material.
“Against the backdrop of major investment in the strategic road network there is now an opportunity to leverage this technology and unlock the benefits of this circular economic approach.”
‘Circular economic approach’ refers to the company recycling 8.7million tonnes of waste every year.