MPs call for switch to more eco-friendly road asphalts
MPs have recommended a change to more eco-friendly road surfaces to help save millions of pounds while reducing emissions.
Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Highways have revealed a report which comments on the benefits of adopting a switch to warm mix asphalts (WMA).
WMA can be created at temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius (C) lower than traditional asphalts. It means that CO2 emissions produced through its creation could be reduced by around 15 per cent compared to usual hot mixes.
The fumes produced are also halved for every 10C reduction in temperature, meaning that working conditions for road builders are safer.
Not only that, but the material cools much quicker – as a result of being laid at a lower temperature – so roads can be opened to traffic sooner.
Responding to the report, David Renard, spokesman for the Local Government Association’s Transport, said: “Councils are already working with the private sector to adopt innovative practices and technology which maintains and improves the country’s roads, and are keen to implement any new methods which can help to reduce carbon emissions, and disruption from potholes and damaged road surfaces.
“Only with adequate funding can councils pay for local services, such as road maintenance. That is why we urge the Government to invest in councils in this week’s Spending Round and give them the financial certainty they need to plan for the future.”
But the APPG says that red tape and a reluctance to test out new ideas are stopping the technology being adopted in the UK.
WMA accounts for almost 40 per cent of production in the USA, and over 15 per cent in France – but represents less than 4 per cent of asphalt creation here in the UK.
If all asphalt production in the UK during 2017 had been switched to WMA, the APPG claims that at least 61,000 tonnes of CO2 could have been saved – around the same as 300 million miles of car journeys.