Arup wins Live Labs contract

Arup has been awarded the contract to monitor and evaluate the £30 million ADEPT Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads programme.

Developed by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), the three-year, UK-wide programme funded by the Department for Transport aims to develop innovative solutions to support the decarbonisation of local highways infrastructure and assets.

Monitoring and evaluation will continue beyond the three year programme to 2028, and assess the longer term impacts of each innovation across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Live Labs 2 focuses on reducing the Scope 2 and 3 carbon emissions of transport projects, which are indirect or controlled by suppliers and related services.  The aim of the monitoring process will be to show if objectives have been met and understand effectiveness and efficiency. Each Live Lab will undergo three types of evaluation: impact, process and value for money.

As with the first programme, scalability and the effective use of resources will be critical to the success of each innovation being trialled, but equally invaluable will be sharing knowledge about what hasn’t worked and the challenges faced by each project. 

Live Labs 2 has just begun its deployment phase with seven projects working to four inter-connected themes across the UK: A UK centre of excellence for materials from North Lanarkshire Council and Transport for West Midlands; a corridor and place-based decarbonisation scheme from Somerset County Council, Cornwall Council and Hampshire County Council, Devon County Council, and Liverpool City Council; a green carbon laboratory from South Gloucestershire Council & West Sussex County Council; and a future lighting testbed from East Riding of Yorkshire.

Anthony Payne, President of ADEPT said: “One of the key aims of Live Labs 2 is to share knowledge with the highways and transportation sector across the UK and internationally, and to inform wider government policy. With its focus on local authority-led innovation trialled with partners across the private sector and academia, the programme will deliver on the ground learning and business cases that can be adopted universally.

“Providing vigorous monitoring and evaluation throughout the lifetime of the programme and beyond will ensure that the data and learning we share will be invaluable. We are pleased to welcome Arup to the Live Labs 2 team.”

Arup have a track record in evaluating UK projects and policies such as the ongoing Elizabeth Line evaluation and the Freeports Programme Monitoring and Evaluation, working closely with different government departments and organisations.

Matthew Dillon, Global Economics Skills Leader at Arup said: “The Live Labs 2 initiative is potentially ground-breaking, and its mission to achieve a step change in the normalisation and uptake of zero carbon techniques, solutions and materials in local roads, is hugely important to the transport sector, and aligns with Arup’s own pledge to be net zero by 2030.  This is a long evaluation, over five years, with seven projects over three workstreams, and a wide geographical area, and lots of lessons to be learned by the sector. With our partners NatCen, we are raring to go.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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