NORTH Lanarkshire Council has been awarded over £4.5 million to pioneer innovative materials for use on road building and maintenance.
Working in partnership with Transport for West Midlands, the UK Centre of Excellence for Material Decarbonisation in Local Roads will be established in North Lanarkshire.
It comes as part of the only Scottish-led bid to the Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads initiative funded by the Department of Transport and organised by The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning, & Transport (ADEPT).
The centre will develop a materials testing programme, identifying and deploying the latest tech for road construction, in addition to testing and deploying recycled materials from other industries to build roads.
For example, the centre will consider alternative materials which could be used for road surfacing, crash barriers, bridges, lighting columns, and landscaping at the side of the road network. This will include how waste products, such as plastics, concrete, and other demolition materials, could be recycled and utilised.
Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said, “North Lanarkshire Council, Transport for West Midlands and partners are delighted to be collaborating to create the UK Centre of Excellence for Materials Decarbonisation. This is an enormously important and innovative programme with a major focus on decarbonising all road types, changing how our sector works and reducing our impact on the environment, while meeting our collective objective for a net zero future.
“We aim to be leaders in the UK in this field and the reference point for the promotion and knowledge share for decarbonisation in highways materials. As we progress, we hope to provide national standards for other public services and a tangible exportable asset for the UK.”
Data from the testing will be shared with local authorities and other agencies involved in the construction and maintenance of roads across the UK.
Roads minister Richard Holden, added, “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.”