Issue 10 - Autumn 2013


RSTA Members' News


Highways maintenance and civil engineering contractor JPCS has appointed Rosie Shanks as it new commercial and business development manager. Shanks have over 20 years’ experience in the highways and local authority sector that includes working for local authorities and private contractors. In her new role, Shanks will be responsible for growing the company’s client base in highways, rail and renewable energy infrastructure, as well as developing and managing the strategy for long-term growth. Commenting on her new role, Shanks said: “I’ve been impressed with the importance that JPCS places on innovation in both products and processes to general and deliver additional value for its clients. I’m looking forward to building on service”. For further information visit: www.jpcs.oc.uk


Together with a number of leading contractors, Nynas has been working since the late 1990s to develop emulsions for the production of cold mix asphalt. Despite very good test results, the technology has found it difficult to gain acceptance across a broad front. But the time now seems to be ripe as its benefits of cost efficiency combined reduced environmental impact through lower energy consumption and higher levels of recycling are gaining wider recognition.

Cold mix asphalt is manufactured using either an emulsion – a mixture of bitumen and water – or foamed bitumen. As the aggregate doesn’t need to be heated, thus the mixing and application temperatures are much lower, both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are a fraction compared with traditional asphalt. The working environment is also improved, as both heat and fumes are avoided.

Another benefit is that cold mix technology is ideal for recycling old asphalt. It’s possible in principle to manufacture a cold mix asphalt that consists solely of recycled asphalt. The corresponding figure for conventional mix is approximately 20-30%. This, of course, can significantly reduce environmental impact.

A cold mix is not necessarily cheaper than a hot one. However, surfacing work can proceed more quickly if you use an emulsion, which combined with the possibility of maximising recycling means significant savings. This flexibility is also evident in the fact that cold mix asphalt can in some cases be stored overnight and used the next day if there’s some left over.

When cold mix technology was introduced, it was used exclusively on the less heavily used parts of the road network, but in recent years, thanks to successful development work, cold surfaces have been used on trunk roads in the UK, motorways in the Baltic region and container terminals in Sweden. For further information visit: www.nynas.com


Meeting the demands of modern day traffic management, in a historic location, on a limited budget and restricted time programme without detracting from the visual aesthetic is a challenge facing many local authorities. It is a challenge that Northumberland County Council has successfully met at the village of Bamburgh.

Located in the shadow of Bamburgh Castle, one of Northumberland’s most iconic buildings, the picturesque village of Bamburgh suffers from the usual visual blight of modern day traffic management. Keen to minimise this impact upon the village, Northumberland County Council has carried out a number of improvements including reducing street clutter by removing over 50 signs and replacing parking and vehicle access demarcation lines with a new granite sett system that complements the historic setting.

The Council wanted to define and edge out three parking bays and a vehicle access way at the front of the Wyndenwell in the centre of the village. It was determined that the use of yellow or white demarcation lines was not really in keeping with the village’s street scene. Although the use of granite setts would complement the historic setting, the Council was concerned that installation of traditional granite setts would mean lengthy road closures resulting in significant traffic disruption for residents, visitors and local businesses. The solution was the installation of Quicksetts.

Conceived by Quicksetts and manufactured by licensed manufacturer Jobling Purser, Quicksetts look just like traditional granite setts but their installation is fast and efficient. Quicksetts are simply adhered to any existing sound asphalt or concrete surface. They are designed to be a one-day solution which significantly reduces inconvenience to road users and local businesses. As Paul McKenna, Senior Transport Projects Engineer of Northumberland County council explained: “For a small village reliant on the tourist industry lengthy road closures for highway works are a major concern. We wanted parking zones that were visually obvious but that did not adversely affect the local historic setting. We also wanted a system that could be installed quickly and cost efficiently. This tall order was met by using Quicksetts which were installed in a matter of hours”.

The Quicksetts are moulded blocks that incorporate granite and, where appropriate, bauxite chippings which offer a higher level of skid resistance than the normal granite would alone. The blocks are set into high-strength resin. Hand-applied, there is no need for heavy equipment or any excavation. Their resemblance to traditional granite setts, but without the fuss, fully supports the English Heritage principles of good practice for street design that includes relating ground surfaces to the local context by keeping paving simple and avoiding discordant colours.

The success of the scheme has been underlined by the positive feedback received from the local Parish Council which has reported that other local traders have requested similar treatment for parking outside their premises. For further information visit: www.joblingpurser.com

Quicksetts at Bamburgh

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