Roads made from recycled car tyres roll out in England

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The technology is streets ahead of traditional bitumen, according to one local council.


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A local government in England is using recycled car tyres to resurface roads, claiming the material is more environmentally friendly than traditional bitumen.

Lancashire County Council began trialling the new material last year, and completed its first full rubber-based road earlier this month.

According to engineers working on the project, the “modified asphalt” uses fewer fossil fuel-derived ingredients and requires lower temperatures to prepare.  



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The council claims the new suburban road delivers the same performance and surface characteristics as traditional designs.

“I was quite surprised how much rubber is in the mix,” Lancashire council employee Phil Durnell said in a media statement.

“It’s around one car tyre per tonne so on that basis we put 150 [end-of-life] tyres in the road in just one day.



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“Overall, by using recycled materials in the lower layers and rubber modified asphalt surfacing, we have lowered the carbon footprint of this scheme by over 30 per cent.”

The use of recycled rubber in bitumen production is not new, however high production costs mean it is not currently widespread.

In 2019 the University of Adelaide announced it was trialing a road surface made from car tyres and rubble, and several councils in NSW have since announced plans to adopt the material for repairs and new projects.



William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy. As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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