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Decarbonising road works: new net zero study

Last month (19 July) Transport for London (TfL) and the Highway Authorities and Utilities Committee (HAUC) announced an eight-month research programme which aims to provide pointers for local authorities on how to decarbonise roadworks.

Looking at elements including innovation in materials and processes, decarbonising equipment and measuring environmental performance, the Road to Net Zero study aims to create a decarbonisation action plan and a draft carbon calculator for streetworks. Recommendations on how legislation and procurement models need to change are also expected.

This work is much needed. Finding ways to lower carbon emissions from roadworks will have knock-on benefits such as reducing congestion, disruption and delays and improving air quality. However, it is also a complex area which requires a holistic view and a common approach so that authorities and companies can benchmark and learn from each other.

Two organisations will carry out the research work: energy network specialist EA Technology will be looking at vehicles and equipment and the potential carbon savings that would be achieved by moving to zero carbon fleets. Birmingham University will be looking at innovation in materials and processes and how to measure environmental performance.

The eight-month study, which will cost £500,000 according to Highways magazine, has been funded through TfL’s Lane Rental Scheme which sees utility companies paying for roadworks at the most traffic-sensitive locations and times of day. TfL and HAUC have assembled a working group of Thames Water, UK Power Networks, Cadent Gas, Southern Gas Networks, Gigaclear, the London Borough of Southwark and the Greater London Authority to support the study. GeoPlace, which stores information for all the UK’s streets and addresses, is also involved.

Thermal Road Repairs welcomes this study and looks forward to the findings. Over the past seven years, we have invested heavily to create and then continually improve its zero-waste, low-carbon technology for pothole and defect repairs and right-first-time reinstatements. As well as harnessing solar energy to power our patented heaters, we have recently completed a development programme that allows all our equipment to run on bio-fuel as part of our own journey to carbon zero.

Thermal Road Repairs is a green technology company which supplies systems to improve the quality, cost and time efficiency of road repairs and paving – at a far lower environmental cost than traditional methods. We invest significantly in R&D, to create new technologies and to continuously improve our existing ones.

High output. Zero emission. Zero waste. Permanent solution.


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