Tarmac’s hi-tech glowing footpath is a hit with Oakham residents
A hi-tech new paving system which absorbs UV rays during the day and emits a soft glow at night is being trialled in Oakham.
Rutland County Council and building materials giant Tarmac have teamed up for the project in a wooded area near Greenfield Road.
The UltiGlow system is seen as a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution to the challenge of lighting secluded pathways in parks and outdoor spaces.
The new paving was laid around four weeks ago and Greenfield Road residents have been captivated by the glittering result.
Mike and Sarah Boumphrey, who have lived in the street for six years, said their five-year-old daughter Florence – a pupil at English Martyrs English Martyrs Catholic Voluntary Academy – loves the new pathway.
Mike said: “The area of parkland is quite small but it is a cut-through from the main road to our estate so it’s used quite frequently at all times of the day.
“It’s lit at either end but not in the middle and, consequently, the path was virtually impossible to see when walking through there at night.
“Now, with the new surface, the path is clearly visible at night and much easier and safer to walk on.
“It doesn’t really light up the area around it, but the path itself looks great.
“Florence thinks it’s wonderful – like looking at stars in the night sky – and she loves taking a walk along it whenever she can.”
According to Tarmac, UltiGlow is an innovative asphalt which uses light sensitive chippings which glow in the dark to illuminate areas such as footpaths, cycleways and pedestrian areas.
It can be used in architectural and landscape design as an alternative to conventional pavements, as well as in leisure venues such as theatres, restaurants and bars.
Tarmac approached Rutland County Council regarding a demonstration of the UltiGlow system which is new to the firm’s portfolio. The material is laid by Tarmac’s specialist contracting teams.
A spokesman for Tarmac said: “We were glad to have the opportunity to demonstrate this new solution in Rutland and are really pleased that the new footpath is being enjoyed by the local community.”
A spokesman for Rutland County Council said: “We were happy to let Tarmac trial this new surface in Oakham and are pleased with the positive feedback it’s generated.
“We will wait until the end of the trial before looking at whether it is practical and cost effective to use the material elsewhere.”