South Yorkshire ‘runflat’ tyres pioneer aims for global mass market

Richard Lust, MD with his pioneering Runflat CBR system.
Richard Lust, MD with his pioneering Runflat CBR system.

A South Yorkshire firm aiming to revolutionise ‘runflat’ tyre technology has moved into new premises as it prepares for growth.

Richard Lust and team have developed an insert that can be fitted into an ordinary wheel which maintains good drivability - steer, accelerate and brake efficiently - even if all four tyres suffer a blow out.

The Runflat CBR system is also lighter and easier to fit than existing products, it is claimed, and is no more expensive than the best performing runflat inserts on the market.

The firm has just taken space in the new Building 3 on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham ahead of a recruitment drive and the mass-manufacture of the product from the end of this year.

Mr Lust, an engineer with nearly 30 years’ experience designing ‘runflats’, said: “We have now patented our revolutionary technology and we are looking forward to sharing it with users across the globe from our new facility. This corner of South Yorkshire is a melting pot for invention. I wouldn’t have been able to make the concept a reality without the talent and original approach of others based here at the Technology Centre and the wider Park.”

‘Runflat’ technology has barely advanced since its inception in the 1940s, he added. Its limitations include some systems requiring a specialist wheel and, if more than one tyre is deflated, the vehicle will halt.

Richard initially rented space in 2009 at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre. He worked with companies including Performance Engineered Solutions and 3D printing innovators, Materialise, as well as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Building 3, which is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, opened in May and is almost 50 per cent let, with 10,000 sq ft already occupied by Metlase - a new joint venture between Rolls Royce and Unipart.

Paul Taylor, of agents Creative Space Management, said: “Runflat CBR is a prime example of the type of business which can thrive and grow on the park - a cutting-edge concept taken to the next level with a little help from the brilliant network of advanced technology specialists we have based at the AMP.

“This new letting is proof that we have the right product here to attract and facilitate growing high technology companies. We’ve maintained close to 100 per cent occupancy at the Advanced Technology Centre over the last few years, so it’s not only a positive to see our existing tenants expand into the new facility, it also frees up much-needed space for more SMEs to join our community.”

The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England, and the regulator of Social Housing Providers.