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25th March 2010, Millets Farm Centre, Abingdon 9am – 4pm

Dura-Base Temporary Roadway

Temporary Roadway surface from Dura-Base

Terrafirma Roadways (, the sole UK distributor of Dura-Base temporary roadways, is holding an open day at Millets Farm Centre, Abingdon on 25th March 2010.  As well as talks and demonstrations, the event will be launching the new Dura-Base Directional Mats.

Dura-Base Directional Mat Launch

The Dura-Base directional mat (D-mat) has been developed in response to feedback from Terrafirma’s customers.  The reversible ‘wedge-shaped’ mats allow the direction of the roadway to be changed by up to 10°, either to the left or the right.  The load-bearing capacity of the D-Mat is the same as the normal Dura-Base mats, giving consistent strength over the temporary roadway.  The D-Mat, which has recently been developed, is being kept under wraps until its launch at the Abingdon open day.

Open Day Format

The Terrafirma Open Day will feature four speakers, followed by live demonstrations of the Dura-Base Composite Mat system in action.  Refreshments and a pig roast lunch are included. The speakers are:

  • Hugh Robertson, MD of Terrafirma Roadways, talking about the history of his company, its growth and his discovery of Dura-Base.
  • Sammy Cooper, President of Newpark Environmental Services (US developer and manufacturer of Dura-Base), speaking about the conception, research and development, and technical specifications of the Dura-Base systems.
  • William Cumber.  Mr Cumber is a well known Oxfordshire farmer and agricultural writer.  He will be talking about the problems faced by farmers who have way leaves and right of way access across their land, and the recent EU rulings on soil damage and erosion.
  • John Brooks, Operation Manager, Electricity Alliance East.  Electricity Alliance East was one of the first UK users of Dura-Base.  He will be telling the audience what effect using Dura-Base mat system has had on their operation, especially when working under live power lines, and about the reduction of security costs and the lack of environmental impact.

Dura-Base lets you 'walk on water'

Walk on water with Dura-Base


The Dura-Base composite mat system will be put to the test in live demonstrations during Terrafirma’s Open Day.  Delegates will be able to see Dura-Base in action in a range of applications and environments:

  • The new D-Mat: allowing for up to 10°changes in direction
  • The Telehandler: allows safe installation under live power lines
  • Floating pontoons: Dura-Base mats float and can be locked together on water, in exactly the same way as they are on land.
  • Stadium layouts
  • Marsh land operations
  • Cleaning of the roadway system
  • Cranes and heavy plant equipment’s performance on the mats


The Open Day will be of interest to people involved in a range of industry sectors: Utility Companies, Railways, Cranes and Heavy Plant, Construction, Temporary Construction Accommodation Companies, Event Organisers and those in the farming industry.

“Places are already being booked by delegates across the UK and from as far afield as Russia and the United States,” said Terrafirma MD Hugh Robertson.  We’re looking forward to having the opportunity to talk to people and find out what they want from their roadway systems and how we can help.”

Anyone wishing to attend the Open Day can contact Terrafirma Roadways on 01235 868835 or by email to

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Media representatives will be welcome to attend the Terrafirma Open Day on March 25th at Millets  Farm Centre, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.  Anyone wishing to come along should email Fiona Benbow –

In 2007 Terrafirma Roadways, a division of Robertson Envirosystems Limited, became the sole UK Distributor for Dura-Base Composite Mat Systems.  The company is based near Abingdon, Oxfordshire and employs 20 people.

The interlocking Dura-Base mats form temporary roadways, commonly used on construction sites or to provide utility companies with access across farmland.
Terrafirma has now imported 6,000 Dura-Base mats for use across the UK and France.

Dura-Base mats are proven to:

•    Reduce accidents on-site
•    Eliminate the need for costly security
•    Reduce damage to the land

The use of Dura-Base is a major step forward in Health and Safety, and in helping reduce environmental damage.  Traditionally, temporary roadways were constructed using aluminium panels.  However, the use of aluminium mats presents a number of problems: health and safety on site being one of the biggest issues.  Mud can seep through the joints in aluminium panels, causing trip and slip accidents and loss of traction for vehicles.  This can also be transferred from site vehicles to the public highway, putting road-users at risk.

Dura-Base uses a unique 300mm overlapping lip system.  The panels are secured with ‘twist-lock’ fasteners and no nuts, bolts, or joining plates are needed.  This provides a continuous barrier between the ground and mat surface, preventing mud seepage.  The composite plastic mats follow the contours of the land, reducing trip hazards on the site.

As well as increasing site safety, the move away from aluminium roadways has reduced the levels of theft.  With their high resale value, aluminium panels have been a regular target for thieves. Dura-Base mats have no scrap value, and therefore eliminate the need for security.

For more information, please contact:

Hugh Robertson, Managing Director
Tel: 01235 868835
Mob: 07887 992612

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