Highways England to Fund Environmental Solutions Submitted by Haulage Companies

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Highways England recently launched a competition, asking haulage companies to submit their ideas for environmental solutions that could potentially transform the industry and reduce the impact of haulage on the environment.

This is, of course, a very pressing and salient issue and 11 initiatives suggested by haulage companies have been awarded funding. Each of them seeks to tackle the problems of low air quality on the country’s motorways, dual carriageways and A-roads. The organisation has also announced a further 13 initiatives that are to benefit from funding following this competition.

Getting Involved
Highways England introduced the two competitions, which add up to a combined worth of up to £20 million, earlier this year. The purpose of the initiative was to ask the country’s best and brightest creative minds to think of new and innovative ways to improve the ways in which the country’s motorways and major A-roads are designed and used.

The organisation is currently delivering the Government’s major £15bn road investment programme, with the second programme set to begin in April 2020.

A Huge Success

Over 200 entries were received for the competition, coming from a vast network of innovators, designers and industry experts. Plenty of these were from small companies with only around ten employees. The funding that will be offered to the haulage companies who were successful comes from a budget set aside for improving innovation and air quality.

From projects seeking to reduce emissions, to ideas for new construction materials and better approaches to using technology, the range of entries was diverse, exciting and extensive.

Traffic Lights

One of the leading initiatives introduced the idea of letting drivers know how much time is left before traffic lights turn green, whilst also suggesting a more appropriate speed so as to avoid stop-start times becoming too lengthy.

Improving Air Quality

A number of the projects entered into the competition were aimed at tackling air quality, including the traffic light initiative mentioned above. Others included measures to incentivise drivers to lessen emissions, introduce motorway charging through thermo-mechanical energy storage, and new dynamic air quality management.

Innovative Ideas

Haulage companies also submitted ideas for the innovation section of the competition, with a diverse mix of ideas put forward. These included introducing digitally enabled and assured product-based bridges, securing real time API for innovation, data monetisation and the use of eCall data to identify incidents and hazards out on the road.

The recent competition launched by Highways England is worth up to £20m and has encouraged haulage companies of all shapes and sizes to offer their suggestions for innovative ways of tackling the latest and most salient issues out on the roads. So far, funding has been awarded to pursue initiatives ranging from smarter traffic light systems to introducing thermo-mechanical energy storage for charging. Who knows what’s next?
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.


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