TRIALS of a revolutionary new 'pothole proof' plastic road surface in Cumbria are to be extended.

The surface, which it is claimed is less susceptible to the motorist's curse of potholes, has already been the subject of limited trials in the region, but further trials will now take place after Cumbria County Council was allocated £1.6m from the Department for Transport to spend on trialling new technology and surface materials to fill potholes.

“I’m delighted that our bid to expand our trial of recycled plastics in road surfacing has been successful," said Cllr Keith Little, CCC cabinet member for highways and transport.

"This new cash injection will mean that our teams can not only use this new technology for more test sites but also trial it to fill pot-holes too."

The scheme is part of the Government’s ‘Live Lab’ areas to carry out real world tests using new highways technology and methods on local roads, and involves a bitumen substitute made from waste plastic converted into environmentally friendly pellets, which can be used in the standard asphalt mix.

"Potholes are the number one enemy for road users and this government is looking at numerous ways to keep our roads in the best condition," said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

“Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century.”