Researchers from the University of Glasgow are part of a new national research hub which will help to upgrade and decarbonise the UK’s complex and interconnected national, regional and local transport infrastructures and to adapt to the effects of climate change.
To meet net zero emissions by 2050 and protect our economy, it is crucial that our transport infrastructure evolves to meet the challenges of climate change, whether that is flooding or extreme heat.
The new Research Hub for Decarbonised Adaptable and Resilient Transport Infrastructures (DARe) will identify pathways and solutions for delivering a resilient, net-zero transport system that works for people and communities.
It will host world-leading researchers who will provide expertise, modelling and data tailored to each area and each transport challenge. 
Funding of £10 million has been awarded by the Department for Transport and UK Research and Innovation, the UK government funder of research.
Led by Newcastle University, the DARe hub brings together the universities of Cambridge, Glasgow and Heriot-Watt as partner institutions.
Professor Phil Blythe CBE, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems, and head of the Future Mobility Group, Newcastle University, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the Hub which will be the National focus for research into how we decarbonise and make resilient our Transport Infrastructure.  
“The hub will engage widely to bring together the leading academics from across the UK and their civic and industry partners so we can focus on understanding the underpinning science and engineering to enable us to tackle these real challenges and provide the models that will help us understand the impact and find the most appropriate solutions.”
Professor David Flynn, of the James Watt School of Engineering, is leading the University of Glasgow’s contribution to the project.
Professor Flynn said: “Cyber physical infrastructure is a new way to connect the real world – infrastructure, technologies, environments and communities – into an integrated and interactive digital domain.
“With this capability, we can use the virtual digital environment to create an understanding of how complex and interdependent social-techno-economic and environmental factors influence each other now and into the future.
“The digital environment enabled by cyber physical infrastructure has the potential to radically redefine how we plan, manage and create future transport services. That will help us to ensure we are creating sustainable, resilient, inclusive and effective transport solutions which underpin our quality of life and prosperity.”
Professor Flynn is already working on similarly ambitious net-zero projects with colleagues at Heriot-Watt University and Newcastle University.
With Professor Phil Greening of Heriot-Watt, he is leading the EPSRC-funded Twinning for Decarbonising Transport Project, or TransiT, which has begun a UK-wide consultation to radically accelerate the decarbonisation of transport through digital twin technology.
He is also playing a key role in the Hydrogen Integration for Accelerated Energy Transitions research hub, or HI-ACT, led by Newcastle University and supported by £10m in EPSRC funding. HI-ACT brings together multidisciplinary teams to tackle the systems integration challenges to the wider use of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels in the UK.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “The UK is cementing its position as a world-leader in net zero tech with this new investment into climate resilience. This Hub will be a centre of academic excellence, helping us keep our transport network resilient into the future.”
Professor Miles Padgett, Interim Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UKRI, said: “A well-functioning low carbon transport infrastructure is vital to sustain communities and economies.
“This investment in the climate resilient development of our transport system will keep the UK at the forefront of the green industrial revolution and accelerate the transition to a secure and prosperous green economy.” 
The national hub has been shaped in consultation with multiple civic partners in North East and North West England, Northumberland, Cambridgeshire & Heartland and Scotland.
Researchers will also launch an open-source platform, opening the data to policymakers, local authorities and the frontline of transport systems.