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Colas extend in-situ recycling to strategic road network

Colas using the in-situ Recycol process on the A41 in Cheshire in October 2023
Colas using the in-situ Recycol process on the A41 in Cheshire in October 2023

Internationally used Recycol process developed and adapted for use on A41 in Cheshire

FINDING solutions to meet the carbon-reduction targets is at the top of the agenda for the highways sector, which is why, in the latest phase of a project to reduce carbon emissions through resurfacing, Colas technical experts developed and adapted the internationally used Recycol process for the strategic road network and completed work on a 2km section of the A41, in Cheshire.

Phase one of the project, in Coventry in October 2022, successfully demonstrated the use of Recycol, going on to win an International Green Apple Environment award, in recognition of a commitment to the environment, and the Department for Transport’s Net Zero Project of the Year at the recent LCRIG Awards.


As the newly appointed Highways Delivery Partner for Cheshire West and Chester Council, Colas were able to support the Council, which was eager to introduce the Recycol process to the region. The Council’s strong commitment to decarbonization made it an ideal candidate to showcase the potential of the innovative treatment. The scheme, a key part of phase two of the project, also signifies the first implementation on a strategic road, distinguishing it from its previous application on urban roads in Coventry in 2022.

Using the internationally recognized SEVE Carbon Calculation tool, the project team was able to show that the Recycol technique achieved a 57% reduction in carbon emissions, compared with the initially specified traditional hot-mix asphalt.

The location, on the A41 between Handley and Bolesworth/Broxton, underwent closure to traffic from Tuesday 3 October until Sunday 8 October 2023. During the application process, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Colas were able to share the project with a team from National Highways as part of a discovery visit.

The Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, transport and highways, Councillor Karen Shore, said: ‘I am delighted the Council is using such an innovative product within the borough with our highways partner Colas. This is a great example of collaborative working and innovation which has great environmental benefits.’

David Ogden, executive director of asset and maintenance solutions at Colas, said: ‘In bringing an established in-situ technique to the UK, we are able to extend the options for recycling solutions to the local and strategic road network, and I’m delighted that we were able to work closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council to introduce the Recycol technique to the region on the A41. This project showcases our dedication to delivering cutting-edge, sustainable solutions for the highways sector that benefit communities and the environment.’

Colas say the project has a strong ethos of collaboration, with research being conducted by partners the University of Nottingham, and scheme support by Road Maintenance Services (RMS). Each time the technique is used, the team from Colas is able to invite interested parties to site to see the solution for themselves, presenting an ideal opportunity for sector-wide feedback as part of the development process.


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