The environmental impact of different car park surfacing options

The environmental impact is an important consideration when deciding which car park surfacing material will best suit your project. Since cars and vehicles already contribute to environmental degradation, creating a more sustainable car park space is a good way to begin offsetting these effects. This blog will highlight the impact on the environment of some of the most popular car park surfacing materials: tarmac, asphalt, gravel, resin-bound, and concrete.


While tarmac has traditionally been considered a surfacing material with negative environmental connotations, many tarmac manufacturers and tarmac surfacing contractors are working hard to adopt new sustainable practices. This might mean using recycled materials in tarmac production, introducing environmentally friendly production processes, and finding new ways to minimise waste and emissions.

Unfortunately, tarmac surfaces are impervious and unable to absorb water. This means that without a vertical flow to an efficient drainage system, run-off carrying chemicals, pollutants, and oils can flow into nearby bodies of water and cause water pollution.

If you’re using tarmac in your next car park surfacing project, it’s important to consider a proper drainage solution. Our team experts at A&MT can help with that.


Asphalt is environmentally friendly in that it can be recycled and used again as many times as you like. This, in turn, greatly reduces your environmental footprint. However, similar to tarmac, asphalt is impermeable, so we recommended designing an efficient drainage system to reduce the risk of flooding and disrupting any local wildlife habitats.


Gravel is one of the most eco-friendly materials for car park surfacing. The porous nature of gravel creates a perfect surface for efficient drainage, enabling rainwater to infiltrate the sub-base. Naturally, this characteristic has a great environmental impact, as the organic infiltration of rainwater not only promotes sustainable urban development but also reduces the risk of flooding.


Another permeable material with positive environmental benefits is resin-bound gravel. This car park surfacing material is SUDS compliant, so it can significantly reduce the risk of flooding. Similar to traditional gravel, resin-bound surfaces can reduce stormwater run-off that can cause erosion and water pollution and can help recharge groundwater by moderating temperature extremes and filtering harmful surface pollutants.


Concrete is arguably the surfacing material that has the most harmful impact on the environment. The hard surface of concrete enables negative stormwater run-off, while cement production releases a large amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Non-renewable energy resources like coal and natural gases are also used in the manufacturing of concrete. If you’re looking for environmentally friendly material for your new car park surfacing project, we would recommend looking outside of concrete.

Not sure which surfacing material is the right option?

A&MT are professional groundworks contractors with expertise in laying tarmac, asphalt, drainage solutions, and much more. If we don’t think the material you’ve suggested for your car park surfacing project will be the best fit, our team of experts will suggest a more suitable alternative for the work.

Parking Perfection: The Quest for the Most Efficient Car Park Designs

Car parks play a crucial role in urban infrastructure, providing convenient spaces for both motorists and pedestrians. However, the design of car parks can greatly impact their efficiency in maximising spaces while ensuring safety for all users.

In this article, we will discuss various ways in which car parks can be more efficiently designed to accommodate a higher volume of vehicles without compromising the safety of pedestrians and motorists.

Efficient Layout Design

One of the key factors in maximising car park efficiency is the layout design. By using efficient parking space layouts, such as angled parking or multi-level structures, car parks can accommodate more vehicles within the same space.

Strategic placement of entrances and exits can also help to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion within the car park.

Clear Signage and Markings

Clear signage and line markings are essential for guiding motorists to available parking spaces and ensuring smooth traffic movement within the car park.

Well-defined pedestrian walkways and designated parking areas can help to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of pedestrians.

Additionally, the use of colour-coded zones can help motorists easily locate their parked vehicles.

Technology Integration

Incorporating technology into car park design can greatly enhance efficiency and user experience. Automated systems for ticketing, payment, and vehicle tracking can streamline the parking process and reduce waiting times.

Additionally, smart parking solutions such as sensors and mobile apps can provide real-time information on available parking spaces, helping motorists find parking more quickly.

Green Initiatives

Implementing green initiatives in car park design can not only reduce environmental impact but also improve efficiency.

Incorporating features such as electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle parking facilities, and green spaces (these provide curb space for short-term parking) can attract environmentally conscious users and promote sustainable transportation options.

In conclusion, maximising car park efficiency while ensuring safety for pedestrians and motorists requires careful planning and design considerations.

By implementing efficient layout designs, clear signage, technology integration, and green initiatives, car parks can better meet the needs of users and contribute to a more sustainable urban environment.

Prioritising both efficiency and safety in car park design is essential for creating a positive experience for all users.


How Much Space do you Need for a Car Park?

When it comes to designing a car park, one of the crucial questions is, how much space do you need for a car park? The space required for a car park can vary depending on various factors, such as the size of the vehicles, the number of cars and the layout of the parking area.

Calculating the Ideal Size

To determine the ideal space needed for a car park, it is essential to take into account the dimensions of the standard parking space.

A typical parking space for a single car is around 8.5 feet wide and 18 feet long. However, for larger vehicles such as vans or SUVs, a wider and longer space may be required to ensure ease of parking and manoeuvrability.

Considering Traffic Flow

Besides the size of individual parking spaces, it is also important to factor in the space needed for aisles and driving lanes within the car park.

Adequate space for vehicles to move in and out of parking spaces safely and efficiently is essential to avoid congestion and ensure a smooth flow of traffic.

Parking Space for People with Disabilities

It is important to allocate designated parking spaces for people with disabilities, which are wider than standard parking spaces to accommodate wheelchair access and provide easier entry and exit for those with mobility challenges.

These spaces should be conveniently located near entrances and amenities for added accessibility.

Maximising Space Efficiency

To make the most of the available space in a car park, consider using compact car spaces, angled parking, or stacked parking systems where possible.

By optimising the layout and design of the car park, you can increase the capacity and efficiency of the parking area while providing a convenient experience for drivers.

The amount of space needed for a car park depends on various factors, such as the size of vehicles, traffic flow considerations, and accessibility requirements.

By carefully planning and designing the layout of a car park to meet these needs, you can create a functional and user-friendly parking space that caters to the needs of drivers and enhances the overall experience of visitors.

Learn more about the significance of car parking designs by getting a quote with our car park surfacing contractors today!

How to Design a Car Park: What’s the Process?

Designing a car park might seem like a straightforward task, but in reality, it requires careful planning and consideration.

A well-designed car park not only provides convenient parking for visitors but also enhances the overall functionality and aesthetics of a building.

By understanding the importance of car park design, you can ensure that your project meets the needs of both drivers and property owners.

How to Design a Car Park?

Initial planning and site assessment

The first step in designing a car park is to conduct a thorough site assessment. This involves evaluating the size and layout of the site, as well as identifying any environmental or logistical constraints.

By gathering this information upfront, you can develop a design that maximises available space and minimises potential disruptions during construction.

Developing a functional layout

Once you have a clear understanding of the site requirements, it’s time to develop a functional layout for the car park. This involves determining the number of parking spaces needed, as well as designing efficient traffic flow patterns and car park line marking.

By weighing factors such as entry and exit points, signage placement, and pedestrian pathways, you can create a user-friendly parking experience for drivers.

Consider drainage in the area

When planning the layout of a car park, effective drainage is key. Without proper drainage, rainwater will accumulate in pools across the surface. This creates hazardous puddles that can lead to slips, falls, and damage to vehicles.

By incorporating features such as sloped pavement, drainage channels, and storm drains, designers can ensure rainwater and snowmelt drain away quickly and safely.

Considering drainage early in the design process allows for a car park that is safe and functional in all conditions.

Implementing sustainable design practices

Incorporating sustainable design practices into your car park project not only benefits the environment but also enhances the long-term viability of the facility.

From using permeable paving materials to installing energy-efficient lighting, there are numerous ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your parking structure.

By prioritising sustainability, you can create a car park that aligns with modern environmental standards.

Ensuring compliance with regulations

Designing a car park also involves ensuring compliance with local regulations and building codes.

The design process must address various legal considerations, from accessibility requirements to stormwater management guidelines.

By working with experienced professionals and staying up-to-date on regulatory changes, you can avoid the costly delays and penalties associated with non-compliance.

Do car parks need foundations?

Foundations provide a stable base and help prevent settling or shifting of the ground underneath. For large car parks made of concrete or asphalt, foundations are usually recommended. They create a solid platform that can withstand the weight of vehicles driving over it repeatedly.

Smaller gravel car parks may not require foundations, as the gravel itself creates a permeable, shifting base.

Overall, foundations for car parks help ensure safety and durability over time. Their needs depend on factors like the size of the car park and the materials used in its construction. Proper site preparation and foundations can extend the usable lifespan of any car park.


Designing a car park is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a functional and sustainable parking facility that meets the needs of both drivers and property owners.

Remember, a well-designed car park not only enhances the overall user experience but also contributes to the success of your building project.

If you need further guidance or information about how to design or create a car park, ‌get in touch with one of our car park surfacing contractors to learn more!

Car park surface: pros and cons of various materials explained

One of the first steps in designing a car park is choosing what type of surface you want to lay. The various different surface materials come with their own set of pros and cons, and suit some car park projects better than others.

Whether you’re comparing car park surface asphalt vs concrete, or wondering just how much maintenance a resin-bound car park requires, we’ve created a handy table explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different surface materials – as well as the best use cases for each type.

Tarmac Asphalt  Resin Bound Gravel Concrete
Initial price Mid Mid Mid Low High
Maintenance Level Mid Low Low High Low
Curing time Mid Low Low Low High
Different colours available? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Permeable? Yes Yes Yes Yes No


Tarmac is a durable and long-lasting car park surface material that looks similar to asphalt. Our tarmac surfacing contractors at A&MT can supply the material in a range of colours – great if you’re designing a car park with a particular colour scheme.

What’s tarmac best for?

We recommend using tarmac for larger open car parking spaces where it’s less likely to crack.


With fewer external materials than tarmac, asphalt will last for a long time and is infamous for its great durability. A knowledgeable asphalt contractor will also explain how asphalt is very resistant to weeds.

What’s asphalt best for?

We recommend choosing asphalt surfacing if your car park is frequented by heavyweight vehicles or attracts high traffic.

Resin Bound

Resin bound is the most versatile surface for car parks. Its high durability and aesthetically pleasing qualities mean that resin-bound car parks have recently skyrocketed in popularity. It’s a great material for blending in with the surrounding environment – or designing something unique and colourful.

What’s resin bound best for?

The many benefits of resin bound make it a great surface choice for the majority of car park designs.


Cheap and quick to lay, gravel is another popular choice for car parks – largely due to its affordability. It’s also an easy material to blend in with the surrounding environment.

What’s gravel best for?

We think gravel works best for car parks without too much traffic, since busy sites will likely need to be relayed frequently.


Concrete is extremely hard-wearing, will last for a long time, and barely needs any upkeep. This surface can also withstand hot and cold temperatures, and a good contractor can easily add line markings for your car park to make designated pedestrian zones and individual parking bays.

What’s concrete best for?

The impermeable quality of concrete means we recommend the material for sites that are either undercover or sheltered from the elements.

Once you’ve chosen which surface material you want for your car park, the next step is choosing the right contractor. At A&MT, we’ve got over 40 years of experience as car park surfacing contractors, helping some of the UK’s largest companies to design flawless car parks like Tesco, McDonald’s, and Sainsbury’s.

Car park design recommendations that shouldn’t be overlooked

There are a number of key elements to consider when planning and building a car park. What’s the best surface material for car parks? How can you avoid drainage issues? How do you mark out car park spaces? Whatever reason you’re considering improving your car park, don’t overlook the following design recommendations.

Choosing the best surface for your car park

Every car park is unique in its configuration, capacity, and purpose. That’s why you should choose a car park surface that best reflects what you want your space to be used for.

Gravel surfacing

Gravel is one of the most affordable car park surfaces. It’s cheap and quick to lay, and looks good on the eye – especially if you want it to blend in with the surrounding environment.

One of the drawbacks of gravel car parks is that they require maintenance to keep them looking their best. They’re also not weed-resistant and after a while, you’ll likely need to get the gravel relayed if you’ve got a particularly busy site.

Concrete surfacing

For a car park surface that doesn’t need a lot of upkeep, look no further than concrete; as car park surfaces go, it’s extremely hard wearing and can last for a long time. Concrete surfacing can also withstand both hot and cold temperatures, and can be easily line-marked to create designated pedestrian zones and individual parking bays.

Disadvantages of concrete surfacing include higher expense, longer setting time, and an impermeable quality which can pose a problem for drainage.

Resin bound surfacing

Versatility-wise, you don’t get much better than resin bound surfacing. This surface is both highly durable and aesthetically pleasing; the wide range of colours creates an exceptionally smooth car park surface that can either be sympathetic to the surrounding environment – or colourful and unique.

Negatives of this surfacing usually centre around a costly laying job and damage repair process, and elevated upkeep when it comes to maintaining resin bound spaces.

Asphalt surfacing

Asphalt surfacing is a reliable choice for high-traffic areas or car parks frequented by heavyweight vehicles. It contains fewer external materials than tarmac so is even more durable, and is well-known for its long lifespan and durability. Any good asphalt contractor will also tell you it’s very resistant to weeds.

A big drawback of asphalt surfacing is its tendency to soften in extreme heat – sometimes even causing it to shrink.

Tarmac surfacing

There are a few reasons tarmac is a popular surfacing material for car parks. It’s got the durability and long-lasting nature of asphalt, but is less likely to crack in larger open areas. Tarmac surfacing contractors can also supply the material in a few different colours so it’s a great choice if you’re tying your car park into a particular theme. That being said, tarmac does require some occasional maintenance here and there – weeds usually find their way through the tarmac surface of car parks – but generally, it’s a pretty low-stress option when designing your car park space.

Other car park design recommendations

There are also some other important design elements to consider when planning and building a car park.

Avoiding drainage issues

Having a good drainage system is essential for making sure your car park doesn’t get waterlogged and withstands the test of time – and the test of the British weather. As specialist drainage designers, A&MT Surfacing Contractors can install or repair all forms of gully drainage systems. We’ll also make sure your new car park surface is totally level when we lay it, so you can avoid further issues with drainage from uneven groundwork.

Creating bay markings

Marking car park lines is one of the most important parts of planning your space, however, there is a certain technique to maximising your capacity for parking spaces while still adhering to the latest safety standards – at A&MT Surfacing Contractors, we know just what to do. Our team knows the ins and outs of car park line marking and will work with you to establish your unique requirements and offer our most trusted professional advice. We can also remove and refresh old line marking paint if your space looks like it needs a little bit of TLC.

Why Choose A&MT?

We’ve been a trusted family business helping customers with their car park surfacing projects since 1976. Our no-quibble guarantee and efficient, flexible service are beaten only by the fact we’re available 24/7, seven days a week – including bank holidays. We’re also fully accredited by Street Works Certification (SWQR Operative and Monitoring) and City & Guilds, so you’re guaranteed to get high-quality professional results every time. Contact us today to discuss your project and get a quote.

How to choose the right contractor for your car park surfacing

Choosing the right contractor and company for car park surfacing work is just as important as choosing which car park surface you want them to lay. A bad contractor can lead to a subpar surfacing job and more expenses – not to mention a big waste of time and energy on both ends. There are a few questions you can ask to determine if a contractor is right for your car park surfacing project, which we’ve outlined below.

How many years of experience does the contractor have?

The more experience a company has, the more polished the results will be. A contractor that has been in business for years, like A&MT Contractors who have delivered high-quality surfacing and resurfacing for over half a century, will have had the chance to learn and acquire the best practices in the business – so you can benefit from all the tricks of the trade.

Does the contractor employ the right process?

It’s important to look for a contractor that’s known for handling projects professionally. This could mean not giving you a quotation without visiting the site, walking you through the process of what’s going to happen before commencing work, and of course, not going beyond the committed time frame. During the project, they should also clean as they go and take care not to damage anything surrounding the project site.

Do they understand the different car park surfaces?

Different car park surfaces have different demands when it comes to installation and maintenance. The right contractor will be able to explain which surfaces require more attention, and which can be left without too much upkeep. They’ll also be able to recommend the best car park surface for your site depending on the size of your site, and your traffic and footfall.

Do they advise on drainage issues?

Standing water can damage your car park surface in the long run and pose a hazard for pedestrians. Choosing a car park surfacing contractor that addresses any drainage issues like checking for blockages, or installing or repairing a gully drainage system will help your car park to stand the test of time – and any classic British downpours.

Do they offer repairs on cracks or forming potholes?

A good contractor will pick up on any cracks forming or potholes beginning to develop on the surface of your car park. Potholes can cause havoc with vehicles, so getting any necessary pothole repair for the space is essential to prevent damage. The right contractor will point you in the right direction and respond to pothole enquiries promptly.

Will their car park line marking maximise your capacity?

Line marking can be a tricky job, but not for an experienced contractor. You know you’re in good hands if they take the time to advise you on how you can use line marking to maximise your capacity for parking spaces, all while adhering to the latest safety standards. They should also help you repaint any existing markings that have faded over time.

Searching for the right contractor for your car park surfacing project? A&MT are here to help.

If you’re looking for a contractor that ticks all the boxes above, look no further than A&MT. Our experienced car park surfacing contractors can take care of everything from recommending surface materials, advising on drainage systems, effectively painting line markings, and of course, resurfacing your space. Get your free, no-obligation quote today.

Benefits of car park resurfacing for your business and customers

First impressions matter, and your car park is often the first encounter your customers have with your establishment. It’s the gateway to your business and a reflection of your commitment to providing a high quality service or experience. In this blog, we’re exploring the advantages of car park resurfacing for both businesses and customers.

Benefits for your business and customers

Car park resurfacing can benefit businesses by improving their professional appearance, increasing safety, improving accessibility, and being cost-effective. It’s an essential grounds maintenance makeover that not only revitalises the appearance of your property but also your business prospects.

Professional appearance

A well-maintained car park reflects positively on a business and can make it look more professional. On the other hand, a car park with cracks, potholes and other imperfections can make a business look unprofessional and negatively impact its reputation. A presentable car park can make a business look more professional and trustworthy, which can positively impact customers’ experiences with the business.

Increased safety

Resurfacing a car park can eliminate hazards such as potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces. A well-maintained car park reduces the risk of accidents that could lead to injury or damage to customer vehicles. Smoother surfaces with clear markings and well-defined pedestrian pathways improve visibility and reduce slip and trip hazards, making your facility safer for everyone.

Improved accessibility

A well-maintained car park can make it easier for customers to access your facility, reducing the risk of losing out on visitors and potential revenue. While there are no hard and fast rules for car park line markings, inclusivity, accessibility and safety are considerations that will be appreciated by your customers, clients and employees.


Resurfacing a car park can be a cost-effective solution compared to constantly repairing it. Proper maintenance can prevent the need for costly reconstruction, ultimately saving your business money in the long run.

Increased property value

A well-maintained car park can enhance the overall value of your property. It may make your location more appealing to potential investors or buyers, increasing your property’s value and providing a competitive edge on the commercial property market.

How often should car parks be resurfaced?

Car park resurfacing should be carried out at least every ten years. However, it’s good to take stock of the volume and severity of road surface issues and schedule resurfacing sooner if required. As for line markings, repainting by specialists every year is recommended.

Need car park resurfacing? Give the specialists at A&MT Contractors a call. We’ll discuss your requirements and make sure the work is completed to your satisfaction.

How to maintain a drainage system: What’s required?

Every home and business owner takes their drainage system for granted. Thankfully, your system often runs smoothly and it’s likely that you pay little to no attention to the pipes inside or outside of your home or premises.

You soon know if there is a problem with your drainage system, however. Foul smells, overflowing drains, and leaking or burst pipes readily make themselves known, often leaving behind more than just a disgusting stench. Ruined flooring, spoiled outdoor areas, and hefty bills are just some of the nightmare leftovers of drainage system issues.

How to maintain a drainage system?

The truth is, most property owners don’t know how to maintain a drainage system, and wait instead until an issue arises to address their faulty drainage system. But it doesn’t have to be this way; maintaining your drains is easy and when it comes to your drainage system, prevention is far better than a cure. Let us talk you through how to maintain your drainage system in this article.

Watch what you put down the drains

Knowing what can cause damage to your drainage system is key. Here are just some of the common causes of drainage issues that we see at A&MT Contractors:

  • Fat being put down the kitchen sink
  • Sanitary items being flushed down the toilet
  • Heavy chemicals being used for cleaning

If you’re surprised to hear that cleaning products can cause your drainage system issues, let us explain; harsh chemicals can be corrosive to your pipes, causing damage. These damaged pipes can result in leaking or burst pipes – not what you want in your home or business premises. Research drain cleaners properly to find one that is both effective and is safe for your pipes.

Use drain guards

Drain guards prevent larger food items, hair and debris from entering and clogging up your drainage system.

Use warm soapy water

Flushing the pipes with warm soapy water frequently can help move along blockages and keep your drainage system clear.

Time to pay attention to your drainage system?

A&MT Contractors are long-established surfacing and drainage contractors covering the London, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire areas. If it’s time your drainage system got a little TLC, get in touch with us for a free quote now.

The benefits of professional groundwork services

First impressions count and a driveway, road, or car park in poor condition can make your property stand out for all the wrong reasons. There are fixes you can do yourself to improve the look of your outdoor space, but is it worth hiring a professional for your groundworks services?

What are groundworks services?

Groundworks services are the works carried out to ensure smooth, safe, and effective surfaces in outdoor areas, for a range of different property types. This can include car parking areas, playgrounds, driveways, roads, and pavements, and usually involves the use of machinery and manpower.

Benefits of groundwork services

So, what are the benefits of bringing in a professional for your groundworks services?

Peace of mind

Employing a professional for your groundworks services gives you peace of mind, and not only in terms of the finished works. The tools and equipment required to complete groundwork can be dangerous; work can involve large pieces of moving or noisy machinery – you can rest easy when you know that your work is carried out safely by a professional.

Do you want our top tip for extra peace of mind? Engage a local groundwork contractor, you won’t regret it.

Experienced team

Access to an experienced team is perhaps one of the best perks of bringing in professionals for your groundworks services. ‘Giving it a go’ isn’t the best option when it comes to your outdoor surfaces, where a range of disasters can happen that impact not only your property, but those of neighbours too.

Save money

You perhaps wouldn’t expect that using a professional for your groundworks services would save you money, but we’re here to tell you that getting it wrong by doing it yourself can be a very expensive option. From not knowing the regulations to an incorrect technique, it’s often cheaper – and less stressful – to employ a professional in the first place.

Professional groundworks contractors

When A&MT Contractors was established, we set out to carry out groundworks services to the highest standards. A mere 47 years later, we’re still here, completing contracts to schedule and working with individuals with small households to household-name businesses.

Have a look at our groundworks services now for more information on surfacing, driveways and pothole repairs in Cambridgeshire, London, and Lincolnshire.

Hot mix vs cold mix – which should you choose for potholes?

Potholes: the nemesis of many car tyres. Whether on public roads or private properties and driveways, potholes pose a safety risk to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, and cause untold amounts of expensive damage to vehicles.

So when you call in a company to repair a pothole, should they carry out a hot mix or cold mix repair? Let us guide you through the hot mix vs cold mix debate and the factors you need to consider when making your decision.

How are potholes caused?

When considering whether to use hot mix or cold mix to repair your pothole, it’s important to know how potholes are formed.

One moment it’s pouring with rain and the next, the newly-fallen rain is frozen as overnight temperatures drop. The Great British climate is varied, with temperatures dancing far above and well below freezing in the same 24-hour period.

An unfortunate side effect to this unpredictability is the development of potholes, which appear over time as the surface freezes and thaws repeatedly, with cracks forming and the surface becoming compromised.

Cold mix pothole repairs

During a cold mix pothole repair, a pre-mixed formula is used to fill the pothole, before being compacted.

Benefits of a cold mix pothole repair

  • No large machinery is required
  • Repairs can be carried out very quickly
  • Often the cheaper repair option

Hot mix pothole repairs

When repairing a pothole with hot asphalt, the surface around the hole is excavated before the hot mix is poured onto the whole area. Not only is the pothole filled, the area around it is repaired and so too is the root cause of the pothole.

Benefits of hot mix pothole repair

  • The cause of the pothole is removed during the excavation, so the pothole is unlikely to return
  • The repair is long-lasting, which cannot be said for its cold mix equivalent
  • Matches in with existing surface

A&MT Contractors repair potholes across the UK, and our depot locations give us easy access to pothole repairs in London, Cambridgeshire, and Lincolnshire. We can guide you through the hot mix vs cold mix debate and make sure you choose the right option for you. Get a free quote now for our pothole repair service.

Do you need a permeable surface for your car park?

Car park surfacing can be carried out in a multitude of different ways, depending on your budget and requirements. Many business owners opt for gravel, due to its low cost and the ease of the installation process, while others choose a hard-wearing, low-maintenance surface like tarmac or asphalt.

All of these surfaces have their own distinct set of pros and cons, but before choosing one, it’s important to go back to basics: to make the right decision, you need to understand the key attributes of a car park surface and what effect each one is likely to have on your project.

Permeability is one such attribute. A surface’s porosity – its ability to allow rainwater to drain through it – can have a significant impact on the design of your car park, its maintenance requirements and construction costs.

Will my surface need to be permeable?

To answer the question posed in the title, no – you don’t need a permeable surface for your car park. Lots of parking areas are constructed from materials like concrete, tarmac and asphalt, which aren’t porous.

However, if you choose a non-permeable material, you will need to invest in a drainage system to prevent your car park from flooding. Not only will this increase the complexity (and therefore cost) of your project, it will also require maintenance of its own in the future, making the car park more expensive to operate.

The pros of permeable surfaces

By contrast, permeable materials like resin bound have a variety of benefits.

    • They are often more efficient to install and can be equally as hard-wearing
    • A wide range of different colours and styles are available
    • The risk of flooding is kept to a minimum, as rainwater won’t sit on the surface for long
    • They are SuDS compliant, meaning no drainage system is required
    • They are better for the environment

Interested in learning more about permeable car park surfacing options? Get in touch with the team at A&MT Contractors today.

What to consider when choosing a car park surface

When it comes to picking the surface for your new car park, you certainly won’t be short of options. There are a multitude of different materials available for you to choose from nowadays, ranging from familiar favourites like gravel and tarmac to newer, up and coming materials like resin bound.

The reality is that all of these surfaces have their own pros and cons; none of them are perfect, and all of them have their place. Really, it’s not about choosing which surface is the best, because there is no ‘best’. What suits one business won’t work for another – so your mission is to identify which surface is more appropriate for your needs and preferences.

In order to help you do that, we’ve put together a list of key considerations to keep in mind.


An obvious one, but an important one nonetheless. How much do you realistically have to spend on your new surface? Don’t forget to take into account line marking, kerbing and other accessories you may need – this can affect the end cost significantly.

Maintenance requirements

Do you have the time or money to be tending to your car park regularly, or would you prefer a more hassle-free, low maintenance option? Cheaper surfaces like gravel tend to require more frequent maintenance, which is a trade off that you’ll have to think about: would you rather save money on the installation, or save hassle later on? Surfaces like resin bound need next to no maintenance and can last for more than two decades, for example.


How long are you expecting your car park to last for? If you only need it temporarily, durability won’t be much of a concern – but if you’re making a long-term investment in the frontage of your business, you might want to opt for a surface that’s built to last.

Ease of installation

Need your car park project completing in record time? Don’t forget to factor this into your decision. For instance, if you need an overflow car park constructing urgently, a surface like gravel may be better, as it can be installed extremely quickly.


Looks matter – especially if your car park will be situated right in front of headquarters. Leaving a positive impression on visitors is important, so don’t base your decision entirely on facts and figures.


If you choose a permeable surface like resin bound, you won’t just be benefiting the environment – you won’t have to invest in a complex drainage system to keep standing water off your car park.

Get in touch with our car park surfacing contractors today

Interested in discussing your options with an expert and getting a free, no obligation quote? Speak to our car park surfacing contractors today.

Pros & Cons of a Gravel Car Park: Is It Right For Your Business?

As one of the UK’s leading car park surfacing contractors, we work with all kinds of different materials on a daily basis. From heavy-duty tarmac and asphalt surfaces to customisable, attractive resin bound options, we can do it all – gravel included.

One of the questions we’re often asked about gravel is whether it’s worth choosing over the likes of asphalt and tarmac – perhaps the two most well-established car park surface options. To answer that question once and for all, we’ve compiled a list of the main advantages and disadvantages of gravel, helping you decide whether or not it’s right for you.

The pros

Let’s start with the positives, shall we? There are quite a few advantages in gravel’s favour, not least cost. That’s because gravel is by far and away the most affordable surface of the bunch, coming in at significantly less to buy and install than tarmac, asphalt and resin bound. Labour costs are kept to a minimum thanks to the ease of installation; gravel takes a fraction of the time to install, keeping more money in your pocket.

It’s a sustainable option, too. Gravel drains very well, which is good for the planet and super convenient: you won’t need to invest in a complex and expensive drainage system to keep your car park free of standing water.

As an added bonus, gravel is more customisable than you might think. With a wide range of colours to choose from, it’s easy to find a stone that suits your tastes – and when the surface is neat and tidy, it can look decidedly upmarket (despite its low cost).

Finally, the ongoing upkeep of gravel isn’t expensive. If you need to get more gravel delivered to fix potholes or replace stones that have dissipated over time, you can do so easily and cheaply.

The cons

Although gravel has plenty going for it, it’s not perfect. One of the biggest problems with it – especially when it’s installed in a high-traffic area such as a car park – is that it can begin to look messy very quickly. The stones can easily be spread to the surrounding pathways and roadways, making the area look a little untidy.

It’s not as hard-wearing as many other surfaces either. Although potholes are easy to fix on a gravel surface, they do tend to occur relatively frequently. It’s common for lumps and bumps to develop over time, no matter how well the surface was installed in the first place. The same goes for weeds; even with a high-quality membrane in place, they will eventually find a way to the surface.

Discuss your options with our team today

Covering the entirety of the UK, our car park surfacing experts offer a wide range of different options to suit your individual needs. To get a quote and discuss your options with our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



Pothole Reinstatement Can Help The Environment – Here’s How

While it’s true that potholes can cause damage to cars and look unsightly, they can also be quite damaging to the environment. An infrastructure issue such as this can cause more problems than you imagine, especially if left unattended and allowed to grow over time.

This is why repairing potholes (sooner rather than later) is such an important task. With the best pothole repair contractors able to provide you an affordable quote and get to work right away, there’s no reason to delay!

That said, it’s important to know the exact harm potholes can cause to understand why repair is such a priority. In this post, we’ll discuss how pothole reinstatement can help the environment, by focusing on the damage potholes can cause:

Vehicle Emissions

Vehicles tend to run more smoothly when they’re given smooth, reliable roads to drive on. Engines operate more efficiently, traffic can pass by seamlessly, and motorists can control their cars properly. Potholes encourage drivers to swerve, decelerate and accelerate, and even swerve or hit the brakes without warning. This can increase emissions, especially when multiplied over many cars that use the road over the course of a month.

Road Safety

Of course, potholes can cause drivers to veer off the road or cause traffic incidents, which can sometimes damage the local environment. Road safety helps the environment by keeping the lanes operating efficiently, with no need for obstructions.

Potholes Worsen Over Time

Potholes tend to grow over time as vehicles churn up the hole and break away pieces of the asphalt. This can lead to a larger issue, causing the need for longer, industrial recuperative efforts. It’s good to save your resources by fixing the problem as quickly as possible. The longer a road functions well, the less it has to be repaired and replaced, which itself has an environmental impact.

Water Runoff Is Affected

When potholes are left unattended, they can affect the natural drainage and runoff solutions implemented by private and public infrastructure, causing water pooling, ground soaking and more. If you live in a wet area, this can cause real issues. Sometimes, this pooled water can cause flooding or soil erosion, both of which can impact your natural environment.

Potholes Discourage Cycling

Cyclists tend to dislike riding on unreliable roads as it’s a safety risk. This means those who usually bike to work might decide to drive instead for safety’s sake, and of course, more cars on the road leads to more emissions. It might also mean cars decide to take longer routes to avoid the affected shortcut route, forcing many cars to spend more time on the road. Again, multiply this by the number of drivers on the road that day, and these emissions build up. What may seem like a minor inconvenience can be deeply affecting in various ways.

With this insight, you’ll no doubt see how pothole reinstatement can help the environment. With a reliable contractor and a realistic quote, you can get to work straight away.