The UK government will invest £30 million into seven road-technology development projects, with the goals of making the nation’s roads net-zero and improving regional connectivity.

The funding has been awarded through the government’s Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads competition.

“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,” said roads minister Richard Holden.

“We’re supporting this vital agenda to help level up through £30m funding for groundbreaking projects and boosting regional connections to support growth.”

North Lanarkshire Council will build a centre dedicated to testing and developing materials recycled from other industries to build roads.

Transport for West Midlands will investigate wider decarbonised highway materials. 

South Gloucester Council and West Sussex County Council will collaborate to develop green infrastructure, which includes building roads from biomass and green waste. 

East Riding of Yorkshire Council will work to increase low-carbon lighting efficiency while optimising visibility in order to develop new highway lighting, road markings and signage. 

Devon County Council will work to change the design, construction and maintenance of UK roads to reduce emissions. It will also explore new walking and cycling options.

Liverpool City Council will explore a host of decarbonisation systems specifically for cities. 

Somerset County Council, Cornwall Council and Hampshire County Council will “pioneer net-zero roads” that will be built “without creating more carbon emissions” in nine “net-zero corridors”.

The government claims these roads will link rural and urban areas. 

All involved bodies will also work to examine alternative fuels and asphalt additives, act as hubs for research and work to decarbonise wider rural and urban corridors. 

The initiative follows the Live Labs 1 funding, that being £22.9m invested into digital technologies for UK roads.

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