Low volume rural road surfacing and pavements: A guide to good practice


This Guideline is aimed at engineers, road managers and others involved with the planning, design, construction or maintenance of Low Volume Rural Roads in developing and emerging regions in temperate and tropical climates. It is intended to provide key knowledge and guidance on a range of proven road surfacing and paving techniques that offer relatively low cost and sustainable solutions for road works, focusing on the optimal use of local resources, in often challenging physical and operational environments.

This Guideline compiles the lessons learnt from the design, construction, supervision and monitoring of a range of surface and paving types trialled and investigated in the Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam South East Asia Community Access Programme (SEACAP) projects, together with the knowledge compiled in the SADC Guideline, and other relevant programmes such as the ongoing AFCAP research. Its scope ranges from Engineered Natural Surfaces (earth roads), through gravel to the various unbound, natural stone, bituminous, cement-based and clay brick surfacing and pavement layers. The guideline is based primarily around recent research in Sub-Saharan Africa and S. E. Asia and is therefore principally of use in tropical and sub-tropical regions in Africa, Asia and possibly South America. It contains no reference to the special conditions governing rural roads in cold climates.

References used within this Guideline are attached in an Excel Spreadsheet and a DVD is available linking the main guideline document with available PDF’s of articles/information cited. Please find attached the DVD User Guide which provides an indication of material included. This DVD can be ordered by contacting Karen Harries (Karen.Harries@crownagents.co.uk), Programme Manager of AFCAP at Crown Agents, St Nicholas House, St Nicholas Rd, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1EL.


Cook, J.R.; Petts, R.C.; Rolt, J. Low volume rural road surfacing and pavements: A guide to good practice. OTB Engineering UK LLP, London, UK (2013) 134 pp.

Published 1 January 2013