Carbon emissions on road projects would be significantly reduced by using Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), according to a new report from the All-Parliamentary Group on Highways.
Using WMA could therefore be crucial given the climate emergency the country is facing; and they could certainly make a difference on road projects given that WMAs are manufactured differently than traditional asphalts.
Because of the way they are manufactured and laid, the WMAs use less energy and deliver meaningful carbon savings – all without compromising performance.
The Chairman of APPG on Highways is Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP. He said the report aims to ensure local authorities support environmental measures “without delay.”
He 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.”
WMA use can, according to the APPG report, reduce CO2 emissions that are associated with asphalt production for road maintenance and construction projects by approximately 15%, depending on product and plant.
Another important advantage of using WMAs is that conditions for the workforce undertaking road projects will be improved, given that less time is needed to cool trafficking temperatures; as such, carriageways can be opened earlier than usual, meaning disruption is minimised for road users.
As it stands, WMA accounts for 40% of production in the UK and more than 15% in France. However, when it comes to the UK, this is under-utilised, representing less than 4% of asphalt production.
Increasing this figure could be key in the UK government’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Tackling the climate emergency will bring significant benefits to public health; air quality will also be improved, therefore bringing down pollution.