RECYCLED tyres might be used to resurface roads across the county if innovative plans are approved by bosses.

The county council said it is looking at whether it could use rubber from the used tyres to patch up potholes and cracked road surfaces in the future.

About 50 million waste tyres in the UK need to be disposed of every year – but none of them can go into landfill.

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Rubber roads have already been tested in Germany and Coventry, where engineers are hopeful the material’s flexibility and hard-wearing qualities have made roads tougher.

Yvonne Constance, the county council’s member for environment, said: “New ways of doing things need to be tested in real life situations to see how they perform. We have had some real successes which have gone from trials to business as usual, meaning our money goes further.”

Mrs Constance added: “Of course, sometimes the trials in Oxfordshire and elsewhere show up problems and that experience is just as valuable. If something fails to perform we don’t use it until the problems have been addressed.”

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Rubber roads have been tested in Oxford before – in the 1930s. Cornmarket Street was covered in rubber tiles which were still in place until the 1950s.

According to an Oxford Mail article published in 2012, a reader said a young cyclist who fell off her bike was fortunate the rubber surface cushioned her fall.

But Michael Rhymes added while it ‘had its good points’ it was ‘lethal’ in wet weather.

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The authority said it was still looking at whether waste plastic – particularly used bottles – could be ground up and used to cover potholes. It looked at that possibility in 2017 but said it was currently unsure whether that technology was ‘advanced enough’.

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Rubber tiles being laid in Cornmarket Street in the 1930s 

Mrs Constance said other technology it had adopted was the use of the Paco Patch – a system to repair roads around loose or damaged drains and manholes.

A trial which the county council took part in last year involved 250 repairs; only two problems were reported subsequently.

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It has also used alternative ways of repairing roads – including using warm mix asphalt to resurface them.

The process means it does not need to be heated at such a high temperature in comparison to other mixes. It also means work on the road can be completed more quickly so delays are less than with other materials.

Recent £650,000 work on Woodstock Road is said to have provided a ‘stronger rut resistant surface’, and would have been more expensive than what it would have normally used.