Contractors will have to build our roads of the future in a carbon-neutral way and this needs to be demonstrated over the next few years, according to National Highways’ Chief Executive Nick Harris.
Speaking at a recent online event, reports Construction News, Mr Harris said this will be the overwhelming focus of its next Roads Investment Strategy (RIS3), set to run from 2025-2030.
Asked at the event how he thought RIS3 would look in this respect, he noted the recent reported growth in sales of electric cars.
“Over the next five years we will see a big change in emissions because of that,” he said. “We talk about the provision of charging points and so on – it’s really important we continue to support that. We’re now focused on ‘can we build and maintain roads in a carbon neutral way?’ I think it is essential that we demonstrate we can build roads and operate roads in a sustainable, carbon-neutral way otherwise the future has to be questionable.”
The transport body previously announced plans for its highways construction and maintenance work to be net-zero carbon by 2040, stating its aim to use environmentally friendly asphalt, steel and cement in its projects. However, Mr Harris stressed the need for progress to be made between 2025-2030, said the report.
“I believe we can do it and RIS3 will definitely be about making that change and demonstrating it,” he told the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum event on Friday.
He also said RIS3’s focus would have “as much, if not more, focus on looking after what we already have and optimising it”, in addition to the bulk of construction work on the £6.8bn Lower Thames Crossing taking place.