A MAIN route into Oxford will be used to test the quality of an asphalt alternative which will hopefully reduce potholes.

Half of a 700-metre stretch of Marsh Lane will be laid with GiPave, a graphene-enhanced asphalt material, with the rest resurfaced using conventional asphalt, so that the two can be accurately compared.

Marsh Lane will be the second trial of GiPave in Oxfordshire, following a pilot scheme in Curbridge in 2019 – the first use of the product in the UK.

Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management, said: “We are committed to improving the quality of the county’s roads as best we can within the limited budget we get from the Government.

“That’s why we’re so keen to be at the forefront of innovation by using new materials such as GiPave, which will keep our road surfaces in a better condition for longer – meaning better value for money for our council taxpayers and smoother surfaces for motorists.”

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The county council is carrying out the trial with its contractor, Milestone Infrastructure.

Phil Raven, head of technical design for Milestone, said: “This is an important trial to further test the benefits that this innovative material can bring.

“As we look for new ways to reduce carbon emissions within highways maintenance, developing materials that last longer is an important part of our plan towards net zero.

“Not only can this lead to longer term carbon reduction, it has the potential to reduce disruption to road users and achieve long-term savings for highway authorities.

“This trial project demonstrates the benefits of industry collaboration with a highway authority that is committed to trialling new innovations.”

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Analysis of the Curbridge trial showed GiPave increases the lifespan of the surface by up to 70 per cent compared to conventional resurfacing methods.

The Marsh Lane trial is aiming to review how the material compares on a road which sees more traffic.

The county council reported approximately 10,000 vehicles use Marsh Lane every day.

Initial design calculations estimate use of the GiPave material can deliver at least a 35 per cent increase in durability compared to other materials.

The Marsh Lane roadworks are part of a £1 million, nine-week project of resurfacing between the A40 Northern Bypass overbridge and Brookfield Crescent.

The first phase began on January 24 – lasting for six weeks – and will see kerb and footpath repairs, and drainage improvements.

The second stage is due to start on Monday and will last for three weeks. Work will be carried out between 7pm and 6am, seeing Marsh Lane closed during those hours.

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