Project Highways Zero started in 2020 to highlight how carbon savings can be made across our highway and transportation infrastructure concerning line marking and surface repairs. The campaign is backed by industry experts Meon Ltd, who are passionate about delivering environmentally great surfaces.
A key milestone in the project was the completion of the first independently verified white paper looking into line marking. This study showed that it’s possible to reduce net carbon consumption by up to 10 times (by over 1500 kilos of carbon per km) through cold line marking materials and electric application equipment.
The added benefits include improved durability for cost savings and higher retained reflectivity for better safety for road users. No business or industry can tackle climate energy alone. We all need to work together, moving forward on this program.
Project Highways Zero run a series of short online presentations, discussion forums and events to highlight how carbon savings can be made with line marking and surface repairs.
To kick things off, in this first in the series, we wanted to look back at the journey that line marking has taken in our country.
1918 white road lines are introduced
The first ever road markings that were seen in the UK were in 1918, and the first ever was the famous white line. This appeared on several dangerous bends in Ashford. The first centre line in London was painted in 1924 to help solve traffic congestion.
1939 Thermoplastic Road Markings (TRM’)s developed
Thermoplastic road markings have been used on more than 95% of public roads in the UK since the 1950s. It was initially created in the UK between 1939 and 1944 to aid motorists during the ‘blackout’ periods within World War 2.
1972 1000 miles of motorways built
The first ever 1000 miles of the motorway had been built by 1972, which say a significant move in improving safety on our highways. The focus for this was to have more regulated and controlled line marking systems across the country.
1984 Road Traffic Act
The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is an Act of Parliament in the UK, which provided powers to regulate or restrict traffic on the UK roads in the interest of safety. It superseded some earlier legislation, including the majority of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967.
2007 Global Financial Crisis
Following periods of excessive risk-taking in a favourable macroeconomic environment, June 2007 saw the falling house prices in the USA. This caused an economic ripple throughout the world. This saw pressure on the UK government from the backlash of this economic effect. This saw investment into our highways with a limitation on the maintenance budget. From this point on, we saw how we could improve the durability of our network and how we could improve more with less.
2008 Climate Change Act
The Climate Change Act 2008 sets a legal framework for the UK to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 by 2050. It requires the government to set binding, five-yearly carbon budgets based on the latest science and in light of economic circumstances.
2016 Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2oc and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5oc. It also aims to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.
2019 Net Zero Target Set
The UK Government has unveiled a legally binding target to be net-zero carbon by 2050, replacing the old 80% emissions reduction pledge from the 2008 Climate Change Act. It is the first country of those historically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions o set this kind of zero-carbon goal.
If you want to know more about how you can do your part or need help with your transition, contact us today.