Holdfast, a firm specialising in recycling tyres for rubberised level crossing surfaces, is conducting trials at a secret location near Corby of its ‘Rubber Highway’, which it believes can revolutionise travel in the UK at a tiny proportion of the cost of traditional road building.
Thousands of miles of redundant train tracks, many out of use since the Beeching reforms of the 1960s, would be brought back to life for both trams and cars in the plan, which has the support of the Waste and Resources Action Programme, which is itself backed by the Department of Food and Rural Affairs.
The firm claims that it would cost £1.4 million per mile to install the ‘road’ – considerably cheaper and faster than a typical road building scheme, which averages about £20 million per mile.
Up to 354,000 tyres would be recycled for every mile of rubber highway. Trials will be held through May and June on a 300-metre stretch of track.