Parliament praises York’s innovative approach to ‘green’ road repairs

A motion tabled to the House of Commons last month has recognised the innovative approach City of York Council is taking to cut the city’s carbon footprint in response to the climate emergency. An early day motion presented to Parliament last month praises a number of councils and local green road repair companies, as well as the Yorkshire Highway Authorities and Utilities Commission (YHAUC), who are using techniques that significantly reduce carbon output during road repairs.


The motion, presented by Yorkshire MPs Dan Jarvis and Richard Burgon, notes City of York’s approach as one of the UK’s most effective carbon-reduction strategies, urging other councils to follow our lead and stop using hot asphalt on road repairs.

Research has found that the extra heat used in regular hot asphalt resurfacing massively increases the carbon output into the atmosphere as well prolongs road works and road closures, as hot asphalt requires cool-down time after it is poured and rolled. It is estimated around 500,000 tonnes of CO2are generated every year in the UK by the use of hot asphalt. In the past decade, countries like France, Australia and the USA have moved towards using greener methods, deploying these in up to 60% of their roads, whilst in the UK we are currently using such methods on only 5% of the country’s roads.

City of York Council’s carbon footprint is being cut using Warm-Mix and Cold-Mix Asphalt and Structural Materials for Reinstatement (SMR) - cement-like additives, which speed up road repairs and support local employment and the local economy.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, commented:

“Tackling the climate emergency is a major task, which requires bold and innovate approaches to delivering everyday services. I’m glad to see our local work recognised in Parliament as an example to authorities across the country. York is once again leading the way in green and bold approach to our city’s future.

“This is one of the many steps taken by the Council to bring us closer to achieving our broader aims of making York a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city.”

The Early Day Motion 1269 text, tabled in Parliament on the 14th December 2020, can be found here:

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