Cumbria Crack

Night-time road resurfacing work set to start in Carlisle next week

Road resurfacing work on Lowther Street, Carlisle, is set to get underway at night-time from Monday 6 July.

Cumbria County Council is investing approximately £150,000 in the resurfacing scheme between Lonsdale Street and Drovers Lane. The works, to be carried out by the council’s contractor Hanson, will involve replacing worn-out section of carriageway with a brand new surface and are designed to make journeys smoother and safer.

Lowther Street will remain open to all traffic during the daytime but it will be necessary to introduce a road closure between 8pm and 5am on week nights only to allow resurfacing works to be safely carried out. A signed diversion will be in operation and access will be maintained for pedestrians, dismounted cyclists and emergency vehicles.

The resurfacing work has been scheduled to take place at night-time when there is less traffic on the road. These works are expected to take up to ten nights to complete. Lowther Street will remain open as normal throughout the day and night on Saturday 11 July and Sunday 12 July.

The county council had hoped to carry out the resurfacing during lockdown when the roads were less busy. However, due to COVID19 restrictions and the limited availability of contractors, it has not proved possible to do the works any sooner.

As part of this resurfacing scheme, the county council will be using a recycled plastic waste product developed by local firm MacRebur which features a bitumen substitute that can be used in the standard asphalt mix. It is made from waste plastic which is converted into pellets. Because the product is made from waste plastic, it is more environmentally friendly and provides an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of road construction.

Cumbria County Council was allocated £1.6m from the Department for Transport, as part of the ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs programme, to invest in trialling the sustainability and suitability of using waste plastic additives in highway construction.

Cumbria is one of just eight local authorities in the country – and the only one in the North of England – to be selected as part of ADEPT’s ‘Live Lab’ areas to carry out real world tests using new highways technology and methods on local roads.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways, said: “The county council is investing around £150,000 in resurfacing works on Lowther Street which will make journeys smoother and safer for drivers. I’m pleased this scheme involves the use of plastic waste material which provides a more sustainable solution for road resurfacing. Cumbria County Council is leading the way in trialling plastic roads and there is worldwide interest in this ground-breaking material.”

ADEPT – the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport – represents local authority, county, unitary and metropolitan directors. The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9 million project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP. Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy and communications. Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.