Coloured asphalt cycleway, A34 Birmingham

A34, Birmingham



Birmingham City Council



Location type

A34, Birmingham


February 2019

The challenge

A 3.3 km stretch of two-way, segregated cycleway was required in Birmingham where it would cross two major junctions and also require the relocating of bus stops, street furniture and lighting. The route along the A34 connected Perry Barr with the city centre and Newtown Wellbeing Centre. The project, managed by Amey on behalf of Birmingham City Council formed part of a vision to make cycling an everyday way to travel for local people. The route crossed two major junctions (with Newtown Middleway and Newbury Rd), which would be realigned and upgraded to include signals for cyclists. The client required a durable, low-maintenance, allseason surface in a finish that would offer clear demarcation and provide a safe, appealing route for cyclists.

Our solution

ULTICOLOUR, Tarmac’s durable coloured asphalt was chosen to surface this cycleway, in a mid blue colour, to provide clear demarcation from the existing road surface. Using a high performance clear binder it offers brighter coloured asphalts, ideal for demarcation. ULTICOLOUR SMA is BBA HAPAS approved for use on UK highways as a coloured thin surface course and has been in use on UK roads for over 15 years. It has proven to be highly durable, delivering lasting performance, even on highly trafficked roads. ULTICOLOUR can be laid quickly over large areas using standard paving equipment, just like a conventional surface course.

Results and benefits

As planned, 476 tonnes of ULTICOLOUR was supplied to the site for use on the cycleway. The cycleway was segregated from the busy main road, including raised kerb sections at key points. As an ULTICOLOUR accredited contractor, the surfacing contractor CR MacDonald had undergone training on laying the product. ULTICOLOUR is only available for installation by accredited contractors who have been fully trained and have access to advice and technical support. This ensures an excellent finish every time. The client was impressed with the finish and the product was chosen to surface another 4km stretch of segregated cycleway in Birmingham on A38, linking Selly Oak and the University of Birmingham with the city centre.

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Additional info

Mark Adams, Business Manager/Highways

Tarmac has been an ideal partner for this ambitious project. Alongside meeting all their contractual obligations, Tarmac staff have gone the extra mile to make sure that their deliveries arrived efficiently and on time. They also helped with the site cleaning and attended more meetings than necessary to make sure that the project ran smoothly. The new blue asphalt is highly visual and an excellent material to work with.

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