Old surface paves way for new footpaths

Pictured, from left, are James Keogh from Sisk Lagan, Steven Cox, Lionel Hehir and Coun Janet Hunter.
Pictured, from left, are James Keogh from Sisk Lagan, Steven Cox, Lionel Hehir and Coun Janet Hunter.

Highways England is turning waste from a major road improvement in North Tyneside into new footpaths for walkers at a nearby park.

Around 250 tonnes of the old surface from sections of the A19 is benefitting Benton Quarry Park.

Recycling this waste material has reduced the carbon footprint created by the wagon movements by 70 per cent and also avoided useable material going to landfill.

The A19 Coast Road scheme was approached by the Friends of Benton Quarry Park towards the end of last year to see if there was anything it could do to help.

The group, along with North Tyneside Council, have been working very hard over the last three years to improve the park for the residents of Benton and the surrounding area.

Highways England assistant project manager Steven Cox said: “Our contractors, Sisk Lagan JV, looked into what we could offer and decided to use what would be waste material to us for the base of the footpaths.

“This form of recycling has already been used on the scheme, as we have used the old surface to create a base for some of the slip roads and footpaths.”

Lionel Hehir, chairman of the Friends of Benton Quarry Park, said: “We have been working to improve the park’s land drainage and footpaths, but it has proved challenging to secure sufficient funds to progress the changes which the park urgently needs.

“The idea of re-using old road surfacing as the base for the footpaths has helped tackle this problem and it also provides a sustainable solution.

“This is a true win-win project and a wonderful example of a small community group working in partnership with various bodies to deliver a major improvement to a local park, which will benefit the whole of Benton.”