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Let's work together to alleviate flood risk

Events on the east coast of England have once again highlighted the threat the country can face from floods. Having superior flood defences is, of course, the most important starting point for countering flood impact.
However, it is clear that all of us involved in the construction sector – planners, contractors, local authorities, the Environment Agency, materials suppliers, the research community – need to work together to develop new solutions to alleviate flood risk.

Porous pavements should be one such solution. They have been in use in France, the US and Sweden for some 20 years now with proven success, yet there still appears to be a reluctance to adopt them in the UK.

This technology enables roads and footpaths to manage excess rainwater, reducing both the rate and volume of runoff water. They also have the potential to capture rainwater and cleanse it for reuse elsewhere. For these reasons both the Environment Agency and the Code for Sustainable Homes give guidance to adopt porous pavements as part of SUDS.

The potential and case for a significant addition to our SUDS armoury is clear. Let the construction industry come together to look at how we can best broaden the use of porous pavements in the UK.

DR HOWARD ROBINSON, head of product development, Tarmac

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