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Sudstech specified to re-open magic roundabout subway

Langford Direct Ltd. has recently worked with Hertfordshire County Council to re-open the subway of the well-known “Magic Roundabout” in Hemel Hempstead.

The subway, which offers the only pedestrian route across the roundabout, has been reopened after nearly ten years of intermittent closure due to flooding. Langford Direct’s Sudstech highly porous paving system has now been applied as a cost effective solution to drain any excess water from the footpath, whilst also creating an attractive and durable new surface.

Also known as the Plough Roundabout, the roundabout has gathered a reputation due to its size and complexity as it consists of six mini-roundabouts covering a large area of the highway. For pedestrians, crossing the road is a particularly difficult challenge, especially since the subway has been frequently submerged in up to six feet of water.

This underpass has now recently been re-opened following resurfacing works using the Sudstech porous paving solution. The works, carried out by MTA Contractors Ltd., comprised the application of the porous material to replace the existing deteriorated resin-bound gravel surfacing covering the entire subway and surrounding areas, which will prevent water build up and reduce the risk of a slippery or icy surface as a result of surface water.
Naturally lying below the water table, the subway relies on a water pump to clear the route of any excess water. Having broken down on several occasions, Hertfordshire County Council specified Sudstech to support the pump by draining all excess water through the landscaping material itself. In having the porous material, all landscape maintenance costs are significantly reduced as the surface does not deteriorate from the effects of water or harsh weather conditions.

The Sudstech system, designed and developed by Langford Direct Ltd., offers a sustainable drainage solution that replicates the natural infiltration method of the water cycle that is highly efficient and maintenance free. With the ability to absorb up to 50,000 litres of water per square metre, per hour, Sudstech eliminates the need for additional drainage systems which are subject to frequent blockages and maintenance.

The porous material is created using natural stones combined with a specially developed resin, which allows rainfall to evenly saturate through the surface into the ground and eventually finding its way to the water course. This formation of the material is resistant to grit, dirt and other objects which may cause the system to block, making it particularly suitable for applications on public footpaths or subways as it will not require regular maintenance causing the area to be closed for public use.

Sudstech can be specified in a range of colours to provide an attractive paving solution that can be used to match any landscaping theme. The material uses varying grades of angular aggregates to deliver maximised strength and durability for a sleek, porous surface that can withstand all usages without compromising the quality of the material.

Following many years of research, development and testing, Sudstech conforms to the latest SUDS legislations created alongside the Water Management Act 2010, which requires porous materials to completely prevent surface water run-off and build up. With its large water capacity, Sudstech can contribute to the control of flooding caused by climate change in public areas and other environmental impacts of hard paving water build up.

All applications of Sudstech can be modified to meet each specification requirement, such as colour variation and weight loading capacity and can provide up to 9 BREEAM accreditations. Due to its SUDS compliancy, applications of Sudstech do not require planning permission.

Further information on Sudstech is available from the company on 0161 2121617, by emailing: or by visiting the company’s website at
Uploaded 04/05/2016