Could Rubber Roads Be Future Of Driving In The UK?

Wed 12th Jun 2019

A city council in the UK is trialling a revolutionary new road surface made from old car tyres, with the hope of reducing traffic noise.

Coventry City Council will be working with Tarmac to make use of a new asphalt, which is made up of shredded car tyres. As well as having environmental benefits in that the new surface is proven to reduce noise pollution, the use of car tyres will help reduce the number waste tyres produced every year.

The surface has already been tested in parts of Scotland, with traffic noise reduced by 25 per cent. The United States has also seen the benefits of Tarmac’s new solution. The new mix is made by shredding old rubber tyres into granules and then adding to a mix which can be laid to create a road surface. Tarmac estimates that it will use 750 tyres for every kilometre of road surfaced.

Brian Kent, technical director at Tarmac, said: “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.

“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.”

If successfully adopted across the UK, the new asphalt will solve a problem of what to do with 40 million used tyres produced every year. Previously they were sent to China, India and Pakistan, but these economies are now importing fewer tyres and making their own.