Expat's invention trialled in England

00:16, Oct 22 2013
Hamish Scott
GLOWING SUCCESS: Hamish Scott spent five years and millions of dollars developing the coating, which he has called Starpath.

Cambridge City Council in England is testing a glow-in-the-dark coating for paths and roads that has been designed by Kiwi expat Hamish Scott.

The trial, on a 150-metre path in Cambridge's Victorian-era Christ's Pieces park, has garnered big publicity in Britain. The Telegraph newspaper said it could be "the future of street lighting".

Scott, 51, grew up in Otaki, north of Wellington, before migrating to England aged 29.

Starpath
STARPATH: "It is quite a cool thing. Until you have seen it, you can't really comprehend it."

He spent five years and millions of dollars developing the coating, which he has called Starpath, after selling his company in Britain that distributed playground mats made by Kiwi firm Matta Products.

Speaking from his home in Virginia Water, Surrey, today, Scott said Starpath could replace street and path lighting in many situations, reducing light pollution and potentially saving money.

"It is quite a cool thing. Until you have seen it, you can't really comprehend it. When are you walking down a pathway you know what is around you. From 80 metres away you could tell if someone had a tie on or was male or female."

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England was his home, but Scott said he still had strong connections to New Zealand and usually returned each year to visit family. His father, Murray Scott, is a former mayor of Otaki.

Starpath comprises a layer of polyurethane which can be sprayed on to existing tarmac or concrete paths and roads. Ground-up natural stone or recycled glass and photoluminescent particles are then embedded in the polyurethane and the surface is finished with a polyaspartic sealant.

Scott said the result was a very hard surface coating, 8 millimetres to 10mm thick, that provided good grip and which could be designed to glow in any colour. "We can have blue, green, red, orange, purple - whatever you like."

It cost about £75 ($150) a square metre to apply, he said.

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