Pushing the boundaries further on VolkerHighways’ and West Berkshire’s low carbon schemes

VolkerHighways, in conjunction with West Berkshire Council, have dramatically reduced their carbon footprint by focussing on carbon-reduction techniques and materials. While working on a highway improvement scheme along the A343 Andover Road, Newbury, they have reduced CO₂e by over 46 tonnes; the equivalent of driving 140,000 miles.


Phase one of the works consisted of the installation of a new cycleway using OCL Regeneration Foambase® M-LS. VolkerHighways laid 60mm of Foambase® M-LS as a binder course, which goes towards offsetting the emissions of 20mm of surface course which was laid over the top. In addition, VolkerHighways used a warm 10mm asphalt wearing course which further reduces the carbon output.

Phase two involved resurfacing the carriageway using Miles Macadam Milepave™ product. Milepave is a reduced carbon surfacing process, using lower mixing temperatures, energy resources and bitumen content than conventional products.

Over 25,000m2 of grouted Macadam surfacing was laid, consisting of 2,061t of 40mm Milepave and 96t of binder course. This equates to 112t CO₂ total emissions, which includes carbon produced by subcontractors.

By using Milepave™, there was a saving of 295t in aggregate and 38t in bitumen, compared to conventional warm mix material and a typical non-carbon neutral surfacing contractor.

Councillor Richard Somner, executive member for planning, transport and countryside, at West Berkshire Council said: “The work on the A343, with our partners, once again highlights a combined ambition to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint across the district. The changes in technology and processes to achieve this reduction of 46 tonnes is impressive and we hope to continue this great achievement on future projects.”

300 trees will be sourced by VolkerHighways and Miles Macadam for surfacing works completed during the 2022 highway improvement programme and they will be planted across the district this autumn. Over the coming years, the trees will absorb and store carbon dioxide and enhance the local landscape for wildlife and residents.

Andrew Scorer, director for Miles Macadam, said: “We are delighted to have delivered West Berkshire Council’s latest carbon assessed surfacing scheme in conjunction with VolkerHighways, to facilitate their commitment to climate change.”

In addition, VolkerHighways approached WJ road marking specialists and chose their exclusive product ‘Weatherline’, which is a biogenic product. By using this product, only 5t of CO2 was produced compared to 17t of standard hydrocarbon-based material. 

Paul Aldridge, sustainability director for WJ Group, added: “We are really pleased to be involved in West Berkshire Council’s push towards net zero, along with VolkerHighways and our supply chain partners, this is a collaborative process, and we move quicker together.”

Kunle Kolaru, operations director for VolkerHighways, said: “Our West Berkshire team is going above and beyond to find carbon reduction techniques for our projects, while maintaing efficiency. This is another very exciting low carbon scheme for the business and its partners.”

Miles Macadam and Milepave™ offer carbon neutral certification and the scheme can be certified as achieving net zero carbon emissions. M-LS is a recognised Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) process which has received an Environmental Product Declaration - S-P-04739 - Manufactured LimeStone (M-LS) (