D-Drill, a diamond drilling and concrete cutting firm based near Coventry, has patented a device that can cut granite kerb stones in situ to an angle to allow access by cars, bicycles and other vehicles.
Cutting kerbstones in place rather than replacing them reduces waste and removes the need for road closures, D-Drill says.
The Cyclpath was devised by D-Drill managing director Julie White and her father Peter White, who previously owned the business. The Whites devised the machine when their company was approached to see if it could angle-cut a kerb by a contractor creating a new cycle path. D-Drill explored the UK and international markets for a machine to do the job but found there was nothing available. They therefore set about solving the problem themselves.
The machine’s first job was to cut 20 metres of granite kerb just off Piccadilly Circus, Central London, on behalf of Westminster City Council to avoid closing the road. The angled kerb was required because it was a popular drop-off point for hotels, restaurants and boutique stores in Denman Street and the existing kerb was resulting in damage to the vehicles that frequently pulled up there.
Julie White said: “When we were originally approached, I presumed there would be a machine on the market. When I explored the UK and found nothing, I tapped into my contacts in the USA and elsewhere in the world and everyone was drawing a blank.
“I didn’t want to turn down the opportunity and got talking to my father about it and I could see a sparkle in his eye as soon as soon as I started to tell him.
“Within a couple of months, we’d got a working prototype and then the first ever Cyclpath, which we have patented.
“The job in Denman Street was the perfect example of how it can work because the 90 degree kerb was causing all sorts of difficulties for the high-class cars that were dropping off there. They were getting dents and scrapes and it needed angling to 45 degrees to prevent it.
“But the last thing the council wanted was to have to close that part of the road off – nor did they want the problem of having to dispose of 20 metres’ worth of expensive granite kerb to then replace it again at a considerable cost.
“So by utilising the Cyclpath, our team could get the kerb cut in just a matter of hours and solve the problem. We cut the kerb while shoppers and tourists were able to go about their business uninterrupted, which makes a huge economic difference as opposed to closing off the area.
“We are really excited by what this new machine could lead to because it is perfect for cutting angled kerbs for cycle paths – that was, in fact, what the original enquiry was about – and there is really healthy interest from councils and highway teams around the UK.”