Hounslow Highways Reassures Residents

Say there is no need for concern that tarmac traps gas


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Hounslow Highways has moved today (Nov 12) to reassure Chiswick residents who are concerned that tarmac paving could lead to problems with gas being "trapped" in underground pipes near their homes.

Rob Gillespie , service director for Hounslow Highways, said: “There is absolutely no foundation to any theory that the use of asphalt as a surfacing material in any circumstance increases any such risk as those alleged in this article. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for utility services to fail from time to time. This can be caused by impact damage, age failure or from vehicles overrunning verges and areas where services are located. The various types of materials that are used to surface roads, footways or other hard standing areas are not a factor in how any gas leaking from damaged or failed services is channelled or directed. Any such leak in the public domain will dissipate through the surrounding sub-strata, verges or soft landscaped areas.

"Whether a footpath is constructed in asphalt or paving slabs is not a factor. Paving slabs will be laid upon concrete or densely compacted base materials that are of similar porosity to an asphalt material. Both types of construction are commonplace across the UK and most developed countries and the situation as described has no substance in engineering whether civil or municipal.

"Residents must be assured that the construction of their built environment is carried out to best engineering practice that has developed over many years and local councils, their providers and utility companies are always striving to improve service. Asphalt footpaths and roads are in place over the majority of the country and will remain a most effective means of construction and maintenance.”

November 12, 2013

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