24th March 2020


Lancashire County Council and Nuphalt Contracting were tasked with creating a multi-user trail suitable for groups within the local community including pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

Over the past three years Nu-phalt Contracting have been very successful with their product ‘Nu-flex’ which is proving to be one of the most thoroughly tested, developed and cost-effective solutions available for multiuser footways.

When works began on the initial four sections, around 2Km in length, with an overall area

of approx. 8000m2 to be laid through the winter and early spring, LCC and Nu-phalt Contracting worked

collaboratively throughout the project to overcome the many challenges presented to ensure the project came in within cost and time frame for the secured funding and the challenge of Lancashire’s weather!

Nu-flex is an innovative surfacing material, blending recycled HGV tyre rubber with aggregate and a polyurethane binder. It is dynamically different from traditional bound materials and offers significant benefits

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Resistance to rutting, defects and hazards
  • Durability, flexibility and grip
  • Very low maintenance
  • Significant carbon savings when measured against traditional surfacing

It is cold hand laid and provides a smooth, easy-to-use surface with exceptional grip in wet weather. Due to the high rubber content it has an amount of give in it, and is also porous which eliminates puddles, reduced spray when cycling in the wet and no sheet ice formation.

The project required the construction of a shared usage bridleway using a porous recycled surfacing process and all associated civil engineering works. Our design team developed a detailed solution specific to deal with the challenges of this unique site.

  • Previous surfaces had failures due to the extreme wet conditions causing unstable foundations: our solution – extensive excavation and the installation of a new and robust drainage system to work with the new porous surface. The presence of adjacent watercourse made material laying difficult with access restrictions meaning operations could only be fed from one end of the project at a time.
  • Protection of the local environment from possible spillage of binder and materials during the mixing process – Risk assessments and Method Statements specially designed, developed and delivered by our HSEQ team.
  • Ecological challenge – the bridleway is known to be a nesting area for many types of birds ,amphibians and other creatures. Areas of Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed had to be carefully treated specialist root barriers used to stop further spread of these invasive species.
  • Bats: replacing a worn stone surface over a viaduct that had bat roost potential meant work needed to be carried out entirely without the use of machines.
  • Ghost studs: in certain sections it was considered necessary to highlight the edge of the track for safety reasons -we did this using ‘glow studs’ providing an environmentally sound ,low maintenance  and energy free solution that would not impact adversely on the local bat colony.
  • Existing tarmac cycleway: the versatility of the material meant that the exiting tarmac surface could be overlaid with Nu-flex, cutting costs, saving materials and adding grip and drainage for winter conditions. Ramps in this section had previously given Equestrian users problems with several horses slipping on them and the Nu-flex surface has been a huge improvement for the equestrian community.

The project was delivered on time and within strict Lancashire County Council budget – we have designed and delivered a bridleway which met all the individual challenges of the local use community groups combined with delivering Lancashire an asset offering very low maintenance but ensuring a high standard safe bridleway. The materials used are sustainable with almost 2000 tyres recycled into rubber crumb and used on this stage of the project.

In conclusion Nuflex offers an alternative to tarmac bound footways for multiuser groups embracing recycling sensitive engineering solutions at highly comparable costs to traditional methods -tried and tested in high risk flood areas giving exceptional drainage properties reducing slip risk in wet and wintery weather.

  • Public Rights of Way
  • Canal Towpaths
  • SUDS compliant
  • Country Parks
  • Cycleways
  • Bridleways
  • Care / Community Homes

This video highlights some of the amazing community benefits brought about by the scheme.  Nuphalt Contracting have successfully completed further schemes across the UK and further details are available from Phill.lewis@nuphalt.com or call Phill on 07539010653.