UK’s Department for Transport releases £23m of funding for trials of solar footpaths, geothermal de-icing systems, and potholes filled with plastic

Britains roads could soon become a lot more eco-friendly thanks to the government releasing funds that will enable a series of trials. Recycled plastic, solar cells, and geothermal technology are all being used in trials designed to improve the state of the country’s roads.

Research into new surface materials to tackle potholes and advancement of further smart monitoring systems will be given funding.

Pothole filling and car park de-icing technologies being trialled.

A Buckinghamshire based project will receive £4.5m to install energy harvesting technology and smart sensors across the region’s road network, including plans for solar roads and footways, and a wind turbine to power street furniture such as public charging points.

Several trials are already in place, in Cumbria an existing trial using plastic to fill potholes received a further £1.6m funding boost. While in Bedfordshire a project to use geothermal energy to de-ice car parks and bus stations in cold weather secured just over £1m of support.

“Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

A total of eight local authorities will play host to new technologies as part of the trials, and if successful the systems could be rolled out nationwide.

To find out more about the Department of Transports funding click here.

Click here to read about an organisation in Newquay that is already using plastic straws for new roads.