Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Vandals curbed by plastic edging

kerbs
Daniel Lynch from Buncrana Town Council with the new kerbstones

A new plastic kerbstone could have the age-old problem of tribal pavement painting finally licked.

Red, white and blue or green, white and orange kerbstones traditionally marked territory in loyalist and nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.

But an eco-friendly kerb could put paid to the practice.

Party colours don't stick to the paint-resistant plastic... so the pavements remain staunchly neutral.

The Roads Service in Northern Ireland organised a trial of the new plastic in Lisburn but there has been no decision as yet about using it.

However, 15 councils in the Republic of Ireland have started installing the new kerbs.

In Donegal, the stones went down in the village of Falcarragh this week.

Buncrana is soon to follow suit.

Durakerb chief David O'Neill who has the licence for all of Ireland said his company offered an eco-friendly alternative to concrete stones.

'Recycled'

His kerbstones - made from recycled milk cartons - could easily be cleaned, he said, a street sweeper would easily remove any layer of paint that had been put on.

Unlike their cement cousins, the kerbstones are resistant to oil, petrol and, most importantly in Northern Ireland, paint.

"The paint does not stick to them, the road sweeper would take any paint off," he explained.

Durakerb has already laid about 30,000 metres in Ireland since they got approval in April.

Fifteen councils in the Republic of Ireland are using them.

In Northern Ireland, Mr O'Neill said a trial run had been carried out by the Roads Service in Lisburn in 2005.

He said the kerbstone was very light, weighing about 6 kgs, a major advantage compared to the traditional cement stone which is so heavy that they need to be handled by two men.

The plastic is lego like and clicks together. Its light weight makes it user-friendly.

You can lay about 80 to 100 concrete kerbs a day but you can lay about 80 plastic kerbs in an hour, Mr O'Neill said.

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