Lower Thames Crossing asks leading UK universities to ‘kick the tyres’ of carbon forecasts

Lower Thames Crossing asks leading UK universities to ‘kick the tyres’ of carbon forecasts
UKCRIC Communications, Marketing and Events Manager (UCL)
30 September 2022

UKCRIC Limited, UKCRIC’s commercial arm for higher technology readiness collaborative projects has been appointed by National Highways to undertake an independent expert review of the Lower Thames Crossing’s carbon forecast.

The proposed Lower Thames Crossing is National Highways’s most ambitious project, designed to ease congestion on the Dartford Crossing and boost the economy by creating a new crossing over the Thames east of London. The new road and tunnel is being designed to be the greenest road ever built in the UK, and has been designated a Pathfinder project that will explore ways to be carbon neutral in construction. It is the first major UK infrastructure project to have put carbon reduction at the heart of its procurement process.

National Highways has set an ambitious low carbon baseline for the construction phase of the project, and developed a carbon calculator to inform decisions on carbon reduction based on “PAS2080:2016 Carbon Management in Infrastructure” standards. The project has now appointed UKCRIC Ltd to carry out an independent assurance that the carbon calculations are accurately capturing all the substantive emissions resulting from this project.

UKCRIC Ltd will assess compliance with PAS2080:2016 processes; whether the assumptions made reflect wider good practice for carbon assessment; the quality of data and accuracy of data processing; and whether the indicative results of the carbon calculator for carbon savings compare with low carbon good practice in the construction industry.

Seraphine Appel, UKCRIC Research Fellow and Project Manager for the carbon calculator evaluation, said:

“Helping the UK meet its carbon targets and decarbonising infrastructure through more efficient sustainable design is a key element of UKCRIC’s research agenda. We are delighted to be working with National Highways on the Lower Thames Crossing; making a valuable assessment of their carbon calculator and contributing to the carbon reduction planning of such a nationally significant infrastructure project."

Andrew Kidd, Director of Solutions & Outcomes, Lower Thames Crossing, said:

“As a Pathfinder project, we are exploring new and innovative ways to achieve carbon neutral construction. We have effective tools that we’re using to understand the potential emissions from the scheme and help us focus on the areas where we can deliver the greatest reductions in emissions. We are committed to transparency and to sharing what we learn and are pleased to have appointed UKRIC Ltd to provide independent review of our calculations.”

The assessment of the carbon calculator will be completed by UKCRIC Ltd via a collaborative project with six UKCRIC partner universities including University of Cambridge, University of Manchester, Cranfield University, University of Edinburgh, Loughborough University, and University College London.


If your organisation is interested in developing a carbon calculator or would like an independent assessment of your carbon footprint you can contact UKCRIC Ltd to discuss your requirements. Email limited@ukcric.com.


About Lower Thames Crossing

The proposed Lower Thames Crossing will be a new road and tunnel, connecting to the A2 and M2 in Kent, passing through a tunnel under the River Thames, before linking to the A13 in Thurrock, and junction 29 of the M25 in the London Borough of Havering, north of the Thames. Approximately 14 miles long, it is the most ambitious project of its kind, and part of the largest investment in the UK’s Strategic Road Network in a generation. The new road would almost double road capacity across the Thames east of London, taking over 13 million vehicles off the Dartford Crossing each year, improving journeys across the region and creating a reliable new connection that will boost the economy.

National Highways intends to submit its Development Consent Order for the Lower Thames Crossing later this year.


UKCRIC is a joined-up national network of leading UK universities with research and development facilities including engineering laboratories; urban observatories; and data analytics, simulation and visualisation capabilities. Through its work with industry, academia, government and end users, UKCRIC is de-risking investments, providing world-leading research facilities and knowledge to trial design options, and is helping to prioritise and provide evidence, analysis and innovation for future infrastructure and urban investments. UKCRIC Ltd is a trading company of UKCRIC and provides a number of innovation services, undertaking collaborative projects with external partners and UKCRIC HEIs.

For media enquiries please contact Tim Yates at tim.j.yates@ucl.ac.uk