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Highways England targets net zero road construction by 2040

Image: Highways England

Highways England has set out its aim to deliver net zero road maintenance and construction by 2040, as it targets net zero carbon travel on its roads by 2050.

It added that contractors and suppliers would be required to act, including making commitments to reduce carbon year-on-year.

Setting out its net zero plan, Highways England committed to achieve net zero for its own operations by 2030, with a 75% reduction by 2025 compared with the 2017/18 baseline.

Measures Highways England plans to take itself include a switch to LED lighting and changing its vehicle fleet to electric, as well as planting three million more trees.

Nick Harris, acting chief executive of Highways England, said: “Highways England recognises the threat of climate change and the risks it poses for us all. That’s why we’re pledging to take effective action to take carbon out of roads.

“It will put roads at the heart of the low carbon economy, while preserving the convenience and economic benefit of an efficient road network.”

Meanwhile, the government has pledged £1bn to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. By 2023, Highways England will publish a blueprint showing how EV charging services should be provided on motorways and major A-roads. 

By the end 2022, it will also report to government on its proposed approach to zero carbon HGV trials on its roads. 

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