Managing the impacts of construction


Managing the impacts of construction

Phase One of HS2 will see a new high speed line constructed from Euston to north of Birmingham, where it will re-join the existing West Coast Main Line. In November 2013, the government deposited a hybrid Bill with Parliament titled ‘High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Bill’. On 23 February 2017  Royal Assent was granted for Phase One of HS2 . This granted HS2 Ltd the powers to construct Phase One of the HS2 network.

The works to deliver HS2 are complex and of a scale not seen for decades. They will require careful management throughout the delivery of each phase of the railway. Our key aims are to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses, reduce the impact on the road and transport network and to minimise our impact on the environment.

Regular Communication

We will ensure that we keep people informed at each stage of our construction programme. As part of our ongoing community engagement, we regularly update and notify local residents and businesses affected by our works in advance of them taking place. We use a range of methods to provide this information, ranging from delivering leaflets in the post to placing signs on roads.

At every site HS2 liaises closely with local authorities, local representatives and other interested groups to manage and minimise the effects of construction.

Each of our contractors employ community engagement staff who distribute information about the works and provide a first contact for local communities. Find out about current or planned HS2 works in your local area .

You can contact our HS2 Helpdesk team all day, every day of the year. They work alongside our engagement teams and our contractors to resolve enquiries and complaints speedily.

Our approach to traffic management

How we’ll manage the impact of HS2 on local roads

As we deliver Britain’s new high speed railway, we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment and being a good neighbour to communities affected by the project.

We’re carefully planning how the railway will be constructed, including the way that we transport machinery, materials and our workforce, to and from our construction sites.

We understand that traffic and transport management during our construction work is a key issue for local communities. Our work will lead to more vehicles being on the roads in some locations. This page sets out how we will manage the impacts during the construction and delivery of the railway.

Avoiding local roads

We will minimise the use of local roads in several ways, including:

  • Building some dedicated ‘haul roads’ within the construction boundary, which will allow us to move materials and to access our construction sites effectively.
  • Re-using most of the earth we excavate during construction in our earthworks and landscaping around the railway. This means the material won’t need to be moved long distances on the road network.
  • Sourcing some of our materials to build the railway from local ‘borrow pits’, reducing the need to import materials over long distances.
  • Using rail transport for the movement of construction materials and bulk waste, where possible.
  • Using A roads and motorways, where possible, to reduce the impact on local communities.
  • Improving local roads

    In some locations we will be temporarily improving and increasing the capacity of the road network so it can accommodate our construction traffic.

    Crucially, these improvements will typically be constructed ‘off line’. This means that a new junction, for example, would be constructed off the existing highway in adjacent land. It can then be ‘tied in’ to the existing road when ready. This reduces the need for extensive traffic management measures or diversion routes while the improvements are being made.

    Working with local authorities

    The High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Act 2017 provides the overall powers required for HS2 Ltd to build the railway. The powers also enable us to alter roads, where necessary.

    However, we will still need to obtain the consent of local planning authorities and relevant highway authorities for some aspects of our work in the future. This includes permission for the routes that lorries over 7.5t will take to and from our sites, if the number of vehicle movements exceeds 24 two-way trips per day.

    HS2 runs regular Local Traffic Liaison Meetings with highway authorities and the emergency services along the route between London and the West Midlands. These meetings provide an opportunity for our contractors to present proposals for future works affecting the highway, allowing the highways authorities to discuss our proposals and coordinate the work.

    Planning effectively

    We have prepared a Route-wide Traffic Management Plan (RTMP) for Phase One of the railway. It covers how our contractors are required to plan traffic and transport during construction. Contractors will need to prepare Local Traffic Management Plans which will set out how they intend to deliver the project, including significant changes to highways. The RTMP also sets out our requirements for monitoring construction traffic flows, as well as setting the project’s standards for vehicle and driver safety, the development of workforce travel plans and how we need to protect highways and other assets.

    Reducing disturbance to our neighbours

    We recognise that as we develop, design and build the new railway, our activities will impact local communities.

    We are committed to being a good neighbour by treating the affected communities with respect and consideration, and by focusing on minimising and mitigating our impacts, whilst maximising the benefits both locally and nationally across the UK.

    As part of our community commitments our engagement teams act as the voice of the local communities within HS2 Ltd and our suppliers to ensure we meet the standards of our code of construction practice . To help us do this and reduce disturbance to our neighbours we have some of the following mitigation schemes available depending on your eligibility:

    Noise and vibration

    The construction work for HS2 is likely to create noise and vibration that will affect some residents living near HS2 worksites.

    We will design and construct HS2 in ways that reduce noise as much as we reasonably can. In certain circumstances, where construction noise from HS2 is still likely to affect you in your home, we may offer to install noise insulation for you, or pay for you to install it yourself.

    HS2 Information paper E23: Control of Construction Noise and Vibration outlines the policy and how eligibility for noise insulation is determined.

    More information about the noise insulation package can be found in our Noise Insulation Leaflet.

    Air quality

    We seek to reduce our impact on air quality. We’re doing this through a range of measures (our mitigation measures), and we’re monitoring air quality at medium and high-risk sites. Our air quality monitoring surveys add to existing national and local ones by Defra, local authorities, communities and academic institutions.

    The mitigating measures we use to help reduce our air quality impacts such as emissions and dust include:

  • Set emissions caps for all contractors’ vehicle engines (e.g. lorries, vans, and cars) and for all machinery (e.g. excavators, dumpers etc).
  • Contractors use designated lorry routes to minimise the use of local roads.
  • All our contractors are required to use a range of ways to reduce dust including damping down sites with water sprays. This helps to trap dust and pollutants from escaping into the air.
  • We use additional air mitigation measures which you can find out about in our Air Quality Factsheet or read up on the other construction mitigations we use in our Code of Construction Practice .

    Prolonged disruption compensation scheme

    In August 2019 the Government announced the HS2 Prolonged Disruption Compensation Scheme.

    This policy complements a wider package of environmental controls set out in the HS2 Phase One environmental minimum requirements and adds to the noise insulation and temporary re-housing measures set out in information paper E23.

    We are aware of the issues that building a new railway can cause to people who live nearby. We will design and build the railway in ways that reduce noise as much as we reasonably can.

    An introduction to the scheme for residents is available here.

    You can also view or download a copy of the Prolonged Disruption Compensation Scheme policy document.

    If you are eligible under this scheme we will contact you in advance of the construction works to discuss your options and provide more information about the application process.

    If you have any questions about HS2 or our works, please contact our HS2 Helpdesk team on 08081 434 434 or email hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk .

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