Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Transport, shared-use routes have become more and more common in the UK. However, are you aware of what they are and who can use them? For those that aren’t too sure, we’ve put together the following guide to help you understand.

What is a Shared Use Route?

The likelihood is, that you have probably encountered a shared-use route whilst walking or cycling. These paths are intended to be used by most pedestrians including walkers, runners, cyclists, wheelchair users and even inline skates. These routes can often be found in places like parks or pavements, and have been installed to provide a safe way to travel away from main roads.

Shared use routes come in two forms:

  • Segregated
  • Unsegregated

A segregated route is one where pedestrians and cyclists are separated by a white line or a kerb. On an unsegregated route, everyone is able to move around the path freely. These shared use schemes are often implemented to improve safety for cyclists. However, the Equality Act is consulted to ensure that the needs of everyone who uses them are considered.

What Materials Are Best For Shared Use Routes?

Those looking to lay shared use routes traditionally turn to materials such as asphalt, concrete or firmly packed aggregate. Though these are all fine to use, we feel that we can go one better. Our Natratex surfaces are perfect for creating shared use routes for a variety of reasons. In order to fully understand the benefits that they can bring, we’ve highlighted some of the key factors that make NatraTex stand out from the rest:

  • Durability
  • Low Maintenance
  • Cost-Effectiveness


Due to the wide variety of traffic shared use routes are subjected to, it’s vital that the surface is durable enough to cope. Not only that, but it must also be ready to cope with the harshest conditions that the UK can throw at it. Natratex surfacing can guarantee both of these important factors thanks to its durability which has proven itself in some of the largest high traffic areas. A great example of its durability is its popularity for MUGA pitches and playgrounds where heavy foot traffic is constant. Its strength makes it a much better option than cobbles or natural stone paving which are often prone to damage, which leads to expensive repairs.

Low Maintenance

Here at Bituchem, we also understand the importance of low maintenance surfacing, especially in public areas that are used all year round. This is something that we kept in mind while manufacturing Natratex. Compared to other surfacing materials such as cobbles, concrete and natural stone paving, Natratex is very low maintenance and doesn’t often need repairs. When they are required for reasons such as bollard replacements, NatraTex Cold Lay can be used for a quick, cheap and easy fix.

Environmentally Friendly

We are well aware of the pressures that local authorities come under to meet certain environmental policies and targets. As well as this, as a business, we are committed to operating sustainably in line with our own vision and values. With this in mind, we developed NatraTex Eco.

NatraTex Eco is made up of a minimum of 50% recycled materials. Boasting all of the same benefits of the NatraTex Cotswold and NatraTex Colour, our NatraTex Eco surface can deliver the same quality, with the peace of mind that you’re helping the environment.

Learn More About NatraTex

To find out more about how NatraTex can help your project, please contact us. Our friendly and experienced team would be thrilled to assist you with any queries that you may have. Thanks to our experience working with clients ranging from blue-chip multinationals to private homeowners, our team is well equipped to find the surfacing solution that’s right for your budget and specification. Alternatively, if you’re a contractor that’s interested in specifying NatraTex products, you can book a CPD presentation or request a sample today.

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