UK pledges to ‘build its greenest road ever built’

National Highways said it will use the Lower Thames Crossing project as ‘carbon-neutral’ construction pathfinder

Big Zero Report 2022

National Highways has announced it will explore carbon-neutral road construction technologies in a bid to build the “greenest road ever built in the UK”.

The government-owned company which is responsible for building and maintaining England’s road network of motorways aims to make its Lower Thames Crossing project greener than previously considered.

National Highways said new ideas are being considered, including removing diesel from sites by only using hydrogen and electric plant and looking at alternatives to carbon-intensive materials such as concrete and steel.

It will also consider carbon offsetting to address any residual emissions coming from the new tunnel linking Kent and Essex.

It has been claimed that the project has already reduced its predicted emissions during construction by over a third.

That was achieved through the use of zero carbon energy sources, recycling and other technologies, the National Highways said.

In December 2020, through a Freedom of Information request, BBC reported that the data it obtained showed that building the Lower Thames Crossing will emit two million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The report also suggested traffic created by the road is predicted to generate another 3.2 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas over 62 years.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “Exploring carbon-neutral construction is crucial to our efforts to decarbonise our transport network and Build Back Greener from the pandemic.”

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