Live Labs 2 winners announced for decarbonisation programme

23 February 2023
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Amey has been working with North Lanarkshire Council, West Sussex County Council and South Gloucestershire Council to secure two projects focused on reducing carbon from the operation and maintenance of future and existing local roads assets.

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 local roads.

Developed by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), Live Labs 2 follows the hugely successful Live Labs 1. Seven projects, grouped by four interconnected themes, were selected after successfully pitching their ideas in front of a panel of independent experts.

North Lanarkshire Council, Transport for West Midlands, Amey and partners have been successful in a bid to create a UK Centre of Excellence for material decarbonisation in local roads, one of the four themes. The research and innovation centre will develop a materials testing programme to identify and deploy the latest technology for road construction and maintenance, in addition to testing and deploying recycled materials from other industries.

South Gloucestershire Council and West Sussex County Council, with support from Amey Consulting and partners, have been successful in a bid to develop a ‘green carbon laboratory’. This project will examine the role that highways ‘green’ assets can play in providing a source of materials and fuels to decarbonise highway operations, for example, using biomass from green waste to create alternative fuels and asphalt additives.

Andy Denman, Highways Sector Director at Amey said: “This is fantastic news and we’ve enjoyed working with North Lanarkshire Council, South Gloucestershire Council and West Sussex County Council to secure two Live Labs 2 opportunities.

“Following the success of Live Labs 1 and the collaborative work seen across local authorities and the sector, we’re delighted to work with progressive organisations to drive innovative solutions focused on decarbonising our highways. Identifying and embedding these changes are critical to delivering the UK’s ambitious environmental targets and we’re looking forward to seeing the shared learning opportunities that Live Labs offers.”

Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “The UK is a world leader in technology and innovation and we must use that strength to drive decarbonisation and the next generation of high tech jobs that go alongside it.

“We are supporting this vital agenda to help level-up through £30 million funding for ground-breaking projects and boosting regional connections to support growth.

“The Government is determined to create good, well paid jobs - via innovation and investment across the UK - as we accelerate the road to net zero.”

Mark Kemp, President of ADEPT said: “Tackling the carbon impact of our highways’ infrastructure is critical to our path to net zero but hard to address, so I am pleased that bidding was so competitive. Live Labs 2 has a huge ambition – to fundamentally change how we embed decarbonisation into our decision-making and to share our learning with the wider sector to enable behaviour change.

“Each project will bring local authority led innovation and a collaborative approach to create a long-lasting transformation of business as usual. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn from our successful bidders and taking that into my own organisation.”

ADEPT represents local authority (county, unitary and metropolitan) Directors of Place. The ADEPT Live Labs 2 programme is a three-year, UK-wide programme. Seven local authority partnerships, grouped by four interconnected themes, are working on projects to develop, test, pilot and roll out new technologies to facilitate decarbonisation, including in supply chain emissions.

This programme follows the previous and successful Live Labs 1, a £22.9 million innovation programme that focused on adoption of digital technology across the local roads sector in England. The Live Labs initiatives are part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of innovation and technology in place-based services.

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