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Call for greater use of warm-mix asphalts

Warm-mix asphalt

APPG report highlights carbon emission and efficiency benefits of WMA solutions on highways projects

THE All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Highways has today issued a report highlighting how the use of warm-mix asphalt (WMA) can reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiencies on highways projects.

WMAs are manufactured and laid at lower temperatures than traditional asphalts, using less energy and delivering meaningful carbon savings without compromising performance. Their use can reduce CO2 emissions associated with asphalt production for road maintenance and construction projects by around 15%, depending on product and plant.

The use of WMAs also improves conditions for the workforce, plus, as less time is required to cool to trafficking temperatures, carriageways can be re-opened earlier – minimizing disruption for road users.

WMA already accounts for around 40% of production in the US and more than 15% in France, yet remains underutilized in the UK, where it represents less than 4% of asphalt production.

Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP, chairman of the APPG on Highways, said: ‘Everyone has a part to play in tackling environmental issues for future generations and the majority of UK councils have already declared ‘climate emergencies’.

‘This report aims to encourage those authorities which have responsibility for highways to put their support for environmental measures into practice without delay.’

The full report, ‘Working for better roads – Warm Mix Asphalt: reducing carbon emissions and improving efficiencies’, can be downloaded below.

The report has been researched and funded by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), which jointly supports the APPG on Highways in conjunction with the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

Rick Green, chair of the AIA, commented: ‘Warm-mix asphalts can provide solutions to deliver long-lasting roads that also help to meet the country’s low- carbon objectives.

‘So far, take-up in the UK has been frustrated by contract specifications and guidance which require prolonged processes for approvals and departure – it’s time to cut through these impediments so that highway authorities can seize the WMA opportunity.’

Richard Hayes, chief executive of the IHE, said: ‘The use of warm-mix asphalts within the UK will significantly support the reduction in the carbon footprint of road surfacing.

‘However, this is not the only benefit, as WMA allows the new surface to the returned to traffic use much earlier, thus reducing delays – a benefit that will be well received by road users.’

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