First live trials for Centre of Excellence for Decarbonising Roads

A Department for Transport UK-wide funded programme has reached a key milestone with the first live trials taking place in North Lanarkshire and the West Midlands.

ADEPT Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads in the UK is a three-year, UK-wide £30 million programme, funded by the Department for Transport that aims to decarbonise the local highway network. Live Labs 2 includes seven projects, grouped by four interconnected themes, led by local authorities working alongside commercial and academic partners.

One of the four Live Labs 2 themes – The Centre of Excellence for Decarbonising Roads – identifies leading road materials innovations, provides a centralised hub for live trialling and evaluation, develops a knowledge bank and virtual collaboration environment, and enables a process to share and disseminate learnings at pace.

Working as a collaborative partnership, North Lanarkshire Council and Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) are working with Amey and Colas to achieve the objectives for the Centre of Excellence for Decarbonising Roads programme, and are drawing on a vast combined network of national and international partners to gain insights and trial leading innovation to tackle one of the largest challenges facing the UK roads sector.   

The Centre of Excellence theme is split into the north and south campuses, combining research across the two geographic locations, and working with key partners to identify game-changing low-carbon innovations.

The first set of Live Labs’ trials include repair and solutions and products from a wide range of partners, including FM Conway, Degafloor, Roadmender, Colas, Meon, Multevo, Instarmac, Viafix, Roadtechs, Velocity, Tarmac, LCM (Low Carbon Materials), JCB Pothole Pro and Thermal Road Repairs. These materials, identified through an innovation funnel and expert evaluation process, show high potential as low-carbon solutions.

The teams repaired around 100 potholes using these materials, comparing their carbon footprint and technical performance against existing reference solutions. Across the two campuses, a combination of excavated and infill potholes were repaired across 30 trial sites. Suppliers demonstrated the application of these materials to operational teams, providing crucial insights into their effectiveness in a live environment.

Councillor Kenneth Stevenson, Convener of the Communities Committee at North Lanarkshire Council added: “This is an exciting development for the UK Centre of Excellence for Decarbonising Roads as we carry out the first trials of low carbon materials that could be used for repairing potholes.

“We are very pleased with the response to our appeal for innovative materials that could help decarbonise the UK road network and achieve net-zero targets, and these trials are the first time we can put new materials and methods to the test. I look forward to seeing the outcomes and sharing these with the industry.”

Highways Sector Director at Amey, Andy Denman said: “Reducing our carbon footprint and improving sustainability are critical success factors for many organisations and we at Amey are delighted to be working closely with our client, North Lanarkshire Council to deliver these innovative trials in Scotland and address these challenges.

“We have worked with the sector bodies and programme partners to build the Centre of Excellence, bringing knowledge and expertise together to transform our carbon and climate change ambitions and put them into real actions. We’re excited to see the progress over the next few months and how this may shape our sector for the better.”

Both sets of campus results will now be compiled and compared to determine best practice and any geographical differences in lowering the carbon footprint of this service activity.

To find out more and stay updated with the latest progress at the Centre of Excellence for Decarbonising roads, subscribe for updates and follow CEDR’s LinkedIn page.


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