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Goal to make Lower Thames Crossing greenest road constructed in UK

The £6.8 billion Lower Thames Crossing will be a ‘pathfinder’ project for achieving net zero emissions. Image source: SMMT

Highways England will aim for carbon neutral building as a ‘pathfinder’ initiative.

To find, test, and scale-up novel ways of creating and maintaining low-carbon infrastructure, the roads agency plans to enlist a wide spectrum of partners, from major engineering firms to small enterprises and institutions.

New options being investigated include eliminating diesel from its sites in favour of hydrogen and electric power, as well as exploring alternatives to carbon-intensive materials like concrete and steel, after which the initiative will look into carbon offsetting to handle any remaining emissions.

These plans will be shared with the supply chain and the rest of the industry so that they can be utilised on this or any other infrastructure project, potentially making the project a catalyst for change in the industry.

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.

“I hope this groundbreaking proposal will pave the way for other innovative, green solutions to roadbuilding in the future.”

Matt Palmer, Executive Director for the Lower Thames Crossing said: “Our roads play a critical role in keeping people and the country’s economy moving, now and long into our low-carbon future.

“We want to make the Lower Thames Crossing the greenest road ever built in the UK, and as a pathfinder project we will push the boundaries in construction and show how we and other large infrastructure projects can help the UK reach net zero.”

National Highways intends to apply for a Development Consent Order for the new crossing later this year, after holding another round of public consultation on revised plans.

The Danny Sullivan Group has committed to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030, read more about our carbon and sustainability strategy on our How page under Sustainability.