Protect your ‘green roads’ to help deliver safer active travel on the network

Prioritisation of roads chosen for temporary or permanent new cycle or walkways need to be in the best condition possible to help create a safer network for cyclists and pedestrians, according to Howard Robinson, Managing Director of ASI Solutions.

ASI Solutions supports the Government’s agenda for a ‘green recovery’ and is urging local authority and other highway organisations, to consider carefully not only which roads are suitable now for temporary cycle lanes, but will be in the future for the more permanent schemes that will need to be implemented.

“The Government must be applauded for its significant investment in active travel not only to support social distancing something everyone is concerned about right now but to encourage more permanent cycle lanes and walkways. On top of that, local authorities have done a really good job of acting quickly to determine where these cycle and walkways would be best placed. But as we re-imagine our road space it is important to consider which roads are suitable not only now, but in the future as temporary measures become permanent,” he told Highways News. “We can offer highway authorities help in identifying the right sites and help them preserve the roads that are in the best condition so we can increase their lifecycle so they last even longer in the best possible condition,” he adds.

ASI’s RHiNOPHALT® has been successfully applied and is providing asphalt life extension all over the UK, helping highway and other road authorities to reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.

The preservation application can penetrate up to 30mm on aged asphalt surfaces (HRA, SMA, AC) sealing micro-cracks and reducing ingress of water, oxygen, salts and contaminants (fewer potholes, etc) and it also improves wear resistance and reduces binder oxidation, extending the life of the asphalt surfacing. As a result, preservation extends the life of the carriageway surfacing, reduces whole life-cycle costs and improves overall network condition.

In terms of carbon reduction, ASI’s figures suggest that using RHINOPHALT only produces a reading of 3.13kg/Co2 per m2 compared to asphalt resurfacing which records on average 50.65kg/Co2 per m2. RHINOPHALT is also a highly-engineered asphalt preservation system, meeting the requirements of clause 950 in the Specification for Highway Works and carrying HAPAS certification and a CE mark.

“Sadly people will be reluctant to use public transport for quite some time which means the car will make a comeback, putting even more stress on an already old and tired local authority network. So authorities should be spending some of their maintenance budget on the roads that are ranked green in condition surveys to help maintain green roads use the cost savings on treating amber and red ranked roads instead,” added Dr Robinson.

One active travel consultant, who works with local authorities, but did not wish to be named, said: “As we consider which roads are suitable for our ambitious plans to invest in active travel, we are able to bring some highway maintenance programmes forward to help us ensure we have the right road conditions for pedestrians and cycling. But sadly, that cannot be the case all the time. While it is a vital part of maintenance programmes, surface dressing can be very dangerous for cyclists, so we actually need to be really clear about what we put on the surface and when and some of the time other alternatives to surface dressing, such as asphalt preservation for example, are often the best options. These alternatives often cost more but the investment means the road can last in a better condition for longer.”

A significant number of highway authorities are planning to use RHINOPHALT as part of their highway maintenance plans this summer.

Early adopters of preservation include Staffordshire, Hampshire, Northants and Blackpool.

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