Is Flexi-Pave the answer?

Graham Pell with KBI products
Graham Pell with KBI products

Calderdale Council and its partners might find the solution to the surface water problems which plagued the Calder Valley on the doorstep.

An innovative paving system has been developed which is highly porous and virtually maintenance free.

What’s more Flexi-Pave is environmentally friendly as it consumes large quantities of waste tyres.

It was developed by a Yorkshireman who moved to the U.S and in recent years his KBI company has grown into a multi-million pound business which has been recognised for its effective use in storm water management work.

Two former colleagues are now running the British arm of the business - KBI UK Ltd - from Holmfield Mills, Halifax.

The product is quickly gaining a reputation for solving problems in a variety of uses including driveways, car parks and tree surrounds (it doesn’t crack and is more economical than steel grates).

Flexi-Pave uses both the rubber and fibre within tyres, aggregate and a unique polyurethane binding agent.

Over 80,000 litres of water can pass through each square metre per hour and no extra drainage system is needed.

Sales director Graham Pell said strips of Flexi-Pave could have collected running-water which engulfed the Upper Calder Valley during the recent floods.

“We can’t stop the floods but we can help reduce the impact a flood will have,” he said.

The product is not suitable for roads as the rubber would cause vehicles to stop too suddenly.

But, it can carry heavy weights and be used where traffic travels below 30 mph such as golf courses, banking and car parking bays.

Mr Pell said the hardwork of setting up the business in Calderdale was now starting to show results and customers include several local authorities which are keen to use the environmentally-friendly product and save on maintenance costs.

Significant new contracts are in the pipeline and the small team of office staff and fitters will grow in the near future.

“It’s now about controlling the growth,” said Mr Pell.