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A quality above the rest

Unite™

Unite is our highest quality range of access covers and gully grates with over 500,000 installations and 0 reported failures. Unite is engineered for a long life and has been in service on highways for over 20 years, providing substantial savings on both installation costs along with unnecessary road disruption.

Unite manhole cover installed at Birmingham Town Hall

Superior quality and conformance

Using the very latest tools and software, the Unite range of manhole covers and gully gratings has been engineered for an extremely long life.

Key to Unite’s longevity is minimising seat wear between covers/gratings and frames. The range has the stiffest cover/grating structure in its class and on top of this, seating which is less vulnerable to any movement caused by covers and gratings flexing.

Unite has also been design to work sympathetically with bedding mortars, reducing stresses on the frame foundation – identified by WRC as a major cause of manhole cover failure. To increase surface contact with bedding materials the underside of the Unite frame features an engineered tread pattern, and to inhibit crack initiation all contours of the Unite frame, where it engages with the bedding materials, are fully rounded.

BS EN 124, CD 534 v0.1.0, Kitemark


Engineered for a sustainable future

  • In service on highways for over 20 years
  • Over 500,000 installations with zero reported failures
  • Cover and grating designs substantially reduce seat wear
  • Frame features are sympathetic to bedding materials
  • Retrofittable sealing plate available
  • Exceeds BS EN 124
  • Complies with DMRB, CD 534 v0.1.0 and Series 500
  • Kitemarked by BSI
  • 100% recyclable product

Unite in numbers

Unite is a proven range, in service for over 20 years and offers significant benefits to asset owners, contractors and end users.

average lifespan
Over 10years
units installed
>500,000
average lifetime saving
£6,600

Meeting the needs of National Highways CD 534 v0.1.0 with Unite

National Highways has updated CD 534, a significant set of its requirements for manhole covers and gully grates installed on their road network. First released in February 2020 and updated to version 0.1.0 as of May 2022.

Frame flange area

CD 534 v0.1.0 now sets a minimum flange area of 190,000mm² for D400 and 285,000mm² for E600 covers, this equates to 2.1N/mm² as in HA 104/09.

Frame depth and weight

A 150mm frame depth is now required on motorways and all purpose trunk roads. A lower limit frame weight is also specified to ensure frames are stiff enough.

Skid resistance

The WRc test mehod is now the only accepted test method for calculating skid resistance on raised chequer. This test measures a small tyre’s resistance to sideways slip caused by the cover surface.

D400 or E600

E600 manhole covers are to be installed in place of D400 covers where the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) of light goods vehicles travelled on a road is greater than 1,500 in each direction.

Check road traffic statistics for AADT

How much can I save?

Ironwork replacement typically takes around 3 hours*. Studies show the 2,000 users per hour of A-roads are delayed by an average of 4 minutes in roadworks**. This loss of earnings and productivity equates to over £2,200 per hour. The saving to society of not having a 3-hour long unnecessary manhole replacement is at least £6,600 and cuts the associated noise, dust and waste.

  Unite Typical MHC
Approximate cost £140 £70
Installation frequency 1 2+
Installation cost £600 £1,200
Total cost £740 £1,340
Total Savings £600
Sustainable saving Social cost £6,600

*Based on independent analysis commissioned by a major water utility. **Statistics collated from Department for Transport & The National Traffic Survey 2014

> 1,500 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)?

With the introduction of CD 534 there were several key changes. This includes the requirement for E600 manhole covers to be installed in place of D400 covers where the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) of light goods vehicles travelled on a road is greater than 1,500 in each direction.

As a "rule of thumb", most A roads will have an annual average daily traffic number over 1,500 light goods vehicles. Full traffic data can be found for many locations around the UK on the Government website.

Unite D400 manhole cover installed at Piccadilly Circus

More than 100,000 units supplied to Thames Water

Thames Water

As a key supplier to Thames Water, whose adoptable assets are installed in some of the most high profile and heavily trafficked roads in the UK, we've managed to reduce their manhole cover failures to 0 through the use of Unite. We have now supplied more than 100,000 Unite units to Thames Water without one recorded failure over a 20-year period. We’re incredibly proud of our Unite series and how its pioneering design has been underlined by its fantastic performance.

Unite in action

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