ROADS in Solihull will be topped with an environmentally friendly asphalt, the council says.
The borough has opted for ‘warm mix asphalt’, which is made at temperatures around 40C lower than standard asphalt at 190C.
Less energy is used to make the road surface and laying it produces fewer emissions.
Solihull Council said: “From April 2020 the council, along with our partners Balfour Beatty, will be using wamr mix asphalt for the entire road resurfacing programme.
“This switch will put the authority at the forefront of this technology nationally, with warm mix asphalt currently accounting for less than four per cent of asphalt production within the UK.
“The overall carbon savings on this year’s council resurfacing programme could be up to 25 per cent, saving 96 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of cutting over 470,000 miles of car journeys across the borough.”
According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Highways, warm mix is widely used in the US and continental Europe, but less so in Britain due to red tape and a reluctance to switch methods.
It said “there is a significant lost opportunity of not switching to WMA. Not only does its use save time and provide a safer working environment for road contractors, but the carbon emissions associated with the production of warm mix are also less than those for hot mix.
“If all asphalt production in Great Britain in 2017 (the last year for which data is available) had been switched to warm mix, it would have saved at least 61,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of cutting almost 300 million miles of car journeys.”
Councillor Ken Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, said: “This move will save time, provide a safer working environment for road contractors and also reduce the authorities’ carbon footprint. Warm mix also cools faster, leading to roads re-opening sooner. It is also completely recyclable, giving further carbon dioxide reduction benefits.
“This is a pioneering technology which Solihull is embracing. The new asphalt will help us lower our carbon emissions, keep our workers safe and reduce congestion as a result of roadworks.”
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for planning, said: “The overall carbon savings on this year’s council resurfacing programme could be up to 25 per cent, saving 96 Tonnes of CO² – the equivalent of cutting over 470,000 miles of car journeys across the borough.
“Solihull really is leading the way here, with this switch helping keep our borough cleaner, greener and healthier. Tackling climate change is one of our borough’s top priorities; with changes like this helping us reach our targets faster.”