National Highways Concrete roads Programme


Most of England’s road network is surfaced with asphalt, also known as blacktop or tarmac, but some roads are built of concrete. These make up around 400 miles (4%) of England’s motorway and long-distance A-road network.

Concrete roads are mostly found along the eastern side of England, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East. There are also some small stretches in the West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

They were built largely in the 1960s and 1970s, when traffic volumes were half of what they are today. The concrete slabs with which they were made have proved tougher and longer lasting than asphalt, and over the years have needed very little maintenance.

Decades of safe use and hundreds of millions of journeys mean these roads are nearing the end of their working lives. They need vital upgrades to ensure they remain safe, dependable and durable. Better surfaces will also boost ride quality and reduce noise for many years to come.

Depending on their condition, some roads will be repaired to extend their life and others will be fully replaced. Decisions about what type of work will be done are only taken once an extensive review of the existing road surface has been carried out and the benefits the works bring to customers and the wider community thoroughly examined.

Where we decide to reconstruct a section of concrete road, we'll replace concrete road surfaces that are in poor condition with a new smoother surface. This means completely removing the old material and reconstructing the road to a much greater depth - almost the same as when building a new road from scratch. This new surface will last for up to 40 years.

Where we chose to extend the life of a road, we'll carry out specialist repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete road surfaces. This will enable us to keep the road operating safely for another 10 years.

All works will result in roads that are quieter, smoother, easier to maintain and therefore safer for our customers for years to come.

Power plane have been involved in bringing the latest innovations and technologies to this 5 year programme and is an active members of the “Centre of Excellence Concrete roads”.