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Highways England aims to start its net-zero road enhancement scheme by 2025 in order to reduce the carbon year-on-year and deliver net-zero road maintenance and construction by 2040.
The scheme plans to replace all street lighting with LED alternatives within six years and wants the contractors to switch all construction plants and compounds to zero emissions by 2030.
This approach is expected to deliver a 40-50% reduction in carbon emissions from road construction by 2030.
The target is part of the three-staged green roadmap to bring the highways network to net-zero operation.
This will enable Highways England to achieve net-zero for its operations by 2030, net-zero road maintenance and construction by 2040, and supporting net-zero travel on roads by 2050.
The government has decided to invest more than a billion pounds to help with the rollout of charging infrastructure in a bid to shift towards the use of zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
Some of the key targets of Highways England in the roadmap to zero carbon include launching a zero-carbon materials innovation program in 2022, developing a zero-carbon 2040 roadmap for cement, concrete, and asphalt by June 2022, and starting the first net-zero road enhancement scheme to be opened by 2025.
Other target includes Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to have certified carbon management systems by 2025, making digital roads an integral part of Road Period 2 (April 2020-March 2025), and built-in Road Period 3 (April 2025-March 2030) strategy and beyond from 2023.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean stated: “We know that transport is the biggest emitter of carbon emissions, which is why I’m pleased to see that Highways England is setting out a roadmap which will clean up our air as we Build Back Greener.”
“This comes just days after the government unveiled its Transport Decarbonization Plan, setting out our plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This plan supports the UK Government’s Transport Decarbonization Plan and the Paris Agreement. It also meets the challenge of international organizations based on scientific targets and supports the need to build back greener following Covid-19.”