Government invests £30m in decarbonising highways

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We could soon be driving on asphalt made from grass cuttings or ‘carbon capturing&rsqu...

Mane Infrastructure Team

By Mane Infrastructure Team

We could soon be driving on asphalt made from grass cuttings or ‘carbon capturing’ cement–two of seven innovative carbon-cutting projects to benefit from a new £30 million government funding award.

The projects, located across the UK from Devon to Lanarkshire to Devon, won the funding in the Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads competition. The competition was open to long-term decarbonisation projects led by local highways authorities.

The seven winners are:

  1. Transport for West Midlands: the ‘Highways CO2llaboration Centre’ and demonstrator sites for innovative decarbonised highway materials
  2. North Lanarkshire Council: the UK Centre of Excellence for Material Decarbonisation in Local Roads, building roads out of recycled materials from other industries
  3. South Gloucestershire Council and West Sussex County Council: a net carbon-negative model for green infrastructure management, including the use of green waste
  4. Devon County Council: A382 Carbon Negative Project, changing the design, construction and maintenance of UK highways to cut carbon emissions
  5. Liverpool City Council: an ‘Ecosystem of Things’, driving a low-carbon economy.
  6. East Riding of Yorkshire Council: decarbonising street lighting
  7. Net Zero Corridors, Wessex Partnership: net zero roads, built without net carbon emissions in nine ‘net zero corridors’ between rural and urban areas

To share innovations across the UK, Live Labs 2 encouraged bidders to create partnerships with public and private sector organisations and academia. The winners will be working together on four interconnected themes:

  1. a green carbon laboratory: looking at the role of “green” assets as a material and fuel source for decarbonised highways, including using biomass from green waste to create asphalt additives and alternative fuels
  2. a future lighting testbed: researching decarbonised lighting for local roads
  3. a UK centre of excellence for materials: researching and testing innovative construction materials
  4. corridor and place-based decarbonisation: creating decarbonised regions and corridors covering urban and rural areas

Live Labs 2 is funded by the Department of Transport (DfT) and follows Live Labs 1, a £22.9 million scheme funding the adoption of digital technology in the English local roads sector.

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