A new road surface using recycled tyres is being trialled on the M1 motorway by Highways England.
A section of road between junctions 23 and 22 on the southbound carriageway of the M1 near Leicester has been laid with the new surface which has been developed by Tarmac.
Highways England is funding trials into the new asphalt mix to see if this environmentally-sound innovation could be the way forward for future road surfaces.
Using waste tyres in roads has both economic and environmental benefits.
Some 40 million waste tyres are produced every year in the UK and over 500,000 disused tyres shipped out of the UK each year to be landfilled.
EU rules ban the disposal of tyres in landfill sites. Therefore tyres generally go to the Middle East and Asia. There are over seven million tyres filling one Kuwaiti landfill site which is so vast that the ‘tyre graveyard’ is now visible from space.
It is estimated by Tarmac that up to 750 waste tyres could be used in every kilometre of road surfaced with the new material, depending on the thickness of the road.
The trial on the M1 will test the effective durability of the road surface on a highly trafficked network.