Sustainable travel needs a safe and secure ironworks solution

At a time when the Highway Code is giving more priority to cyclists and pedestrians over vehicles at junctions (January 2022) and councils are being encouraged to focus on sustainable travel improvements to encourage cycling and walking for health and environmental benefit, it is important to ensure that street ironworks are level to prevent them being a hazard for pedestrians and cyclists.

Pedestrian crossing and cycleway image

Unsecure or uneven drainage or other ironworks on the highway, footway or cycleway are a huge obstacle for cyclists and can cause serious wheel damage or personal injury.

National campaigns are being run encouraging people to cycle or walk during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as supporting ambitions for Net Zero travel. States of ‘Climate Emergency’ have been declared by many local authorities across the UK to encourage local support for green initiatives, with efforts stepped up, like those in Suffolk targeting families to adopt a Park & Stride, Walk or Scoot to school challenge. The need to be carbon neutral in line with the widespread adoption of electric vehicle use in 2030 as part of the Government’s Road to Zero strategy means that the highway network needs to be fit for the need of sustainable travel.  

Where street ironwork is concerned, a tried and tested system exists designed to specifically seat ironwork at the correct level needs to be widely adopted to keep ironworks stable as a permanent solution, without fear of movement. This strong and stable solution needs to resist extreme weather conditions and last many years without requiring further attention – a product that is by its very nature is sustainable by standing the test of time for generations to come.

Securing ironworks using SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS is a quick, easy, cost effective and ultimately simple solution. With a range of products specifically designed for the task at hand, these products ensure that ironwork installations remain strong and secure. The principle of “right first time” cuts out costly repairs and remedial work by investing in the right materials and their correct use. With cost and performance dominating life these days, this approach delivers immediate and direct savings to both the contractor and council; furthermore the speed and ease of installation cuts the use of traffic lights in most cases and limits traffic disruption to an absolute minimum. Indirect savings also flow automatically through improved safety and environmental costs, and of fewer potential damage claims by highway users for accident or injury.

With a “tailor on site” approach, SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS provides a flexible cost effective and sustainable method of carrying out installations and repairs to defects in ironwork installations.  Their products have been carefully pioneered and are difficult to beat for speed, simplicity, low cost, ease of use and ability to be sized on site with millimetre precision. They can be utilised by local authorities, water companies, asphalt companies and civil engineering contractors as the product is so versatile. 

All products in the SHIMPAC® range are quick and easy to install, can be cut to length on site without the need for specialist tools and are compatible with fast setting mortar. The products come in various thicknesses, allowing the contractor to build up the area beneath the frame to achieve the correct level; in extreme cases it can even be built up to form a much thicker laminated layer to bind the chamber top. Designed specifically to secure the chamber top and provide a platform to bed any ironwork, the product range has a proven track record of withstanding the heaviest of punishment from intense traffic of all sorts, including high tonnage haulage vehicles, in the most demanding of weather conditions from floods to snow.

The term ‘right first time, on time’ should become a mantra for the industry as there are products on the market that are provide a tried and tested solution to an ever-growing problem and do go a long way to prevent street ironwork installations failing due to movement around the ironwork housing.

All road users need a level surface, but cyclists and pedestrians are particular road user groups who need to be even assured that the route they wish to travel is free of hazards. By securing ironworks with SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS, as standard practice local authorities will be fulfilling their responsibility, effectively seating ironworks that can stand the weight of traffic and extreme weather for the long-term benefit of sustainable travel.”

To find out more about SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS and its dedicated product range for all types or ironwork installation contact Barry Andrews, Manager at SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS on 07808 646299 or e-mail:


Heavier HGVs mean ironworks must be stronger than ever

Longer lorries carrying increased loads are permitted to travel on UK roads from this month (January 2022) but what does this mean for highway ironworks?

HGV image: source online

Although fewer vehicles on the network is potentially good news (estimates say one in eight vehicles will be reduced) to reducing congestion and emissions, any increase in the maximum weight of traffic will put even more pressure on highway ironworks needing to withstand more weight than ever before.

The Department for Transport published its response to its consultation on the introduction of longer-semi trailers (LSTs) in 2021, after a nine-year trial of longer vehicles up to 15.65 metres in length. Although their report finds them to be safer, more economical and better for the environment. It is additional pressure on the existing highway infrastructure, not been created with this size of heavy vehicle in mind?

Loose or unsecure highway ironworks are a huge problem for many highway authorities, requiring temporary repairs to prevent hazards where drainage gullies at the side of the road or utility provider service boxes in the centre of the highway become loose from the weight of traffic passing over them or road subsidence around them occurs after resurfacing works.

A solution exists, than can cope with such heavy loads, having been extensively tested to withstand the heaviest weight of traffic (120 tonnes) and extreme weather (rain, ice and snow) without movement or deterioration.

Furthermore, the government has also announced it will soon launch a separate trial using heavier-than-normal, 48-tonne lorries, following a positive response from the consultation on their introduction. These lorries will be able to transport heavier containers directly to and from rail depots so that goods can be transported across the country by train but will require those highway routes to accept even heavier HGVs between these rail depots. The current maximum weight or a lorry on the highway network is 44 tonnes.

Barry Andrews, Manager at SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS said: “Although I understand the Government’s thinking around reducing the number of vehicles (1 in 8) and so emissions to help the environment, the reality is that we will face the same number of HGVs on the roads just carrying larger loads.”

“The network needs to be ‘fit for purpose’, which is where SHIMPAC®  products can help. We have created a dedicated system that secures highway ironworks more effectively than other means and it is proven to withstand the heaviest traffic. Our ROADSHIMS® have been tested for loads up to 90 tonnes so when used to secure ironworks will effectively keep them stable for many years – 38 years and still going strong at our original UK test location.”

“We would ideally like to see our products used as a matter of course by highway authorities as the solution to secure ironworks to last, without the need for costly remedial maintenance as a temporary fix year on year. It’s part of a sustainable approach, securing ironworks to last at a time when our roads are expected to cope with more and more extremes in terms of traffic, larger vehicles and extreme weather conditions.”

To find out more about SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS range of products for all types of ironwork installation, visit or contact Barry Andrews by e-mailing: or telephone 07808 646299.

Notes to editors:

1. SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS provide a stable and durable base for ironworks seating/levelling. Designed and industry approved, versatile SHIMPAC® products withstand extreme loads in highways, port, airport and rail locations. Developed by British expert engineers, products can be tailored to suit each location and are approved for use in many industries as a long-term and sustainable solution.

2. SHIMPAC® products are made of compressed cement and natural fibre combination. They are quick and easy to install and various thicknesses are available to make the area level with the road surface with millimetre accuracy.

3. The full produce range can be found online at Product Range – Shimpac

4. To find out more about SHIMPAC® SYSTEMS company history and product development visit About – Shimpac