Govt finds £8.5m 'extra' for roads and trees on HS2 route

 

Ministers have announced more than £8m for new woodlands and road improvements for Phase 2a of the new high speed rail line.

HS2 Ltd has also announced plans to plant seven million new trees alongside Phase 1.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced £6.5m for local authorities on the Birmingham to Crewe route through the HS2 Road Safety Fund, ‘to deliver improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers’. The cash adds to the £30m for road safety improvements on the Phase 1 route announced last year.

HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani also announced £2m for the HS2 Woodland Fund, to help landowners along the route between Birmingham and Crewe (Phase 2a) plant new trees native to the area.

”Local
Animation depicting a 'green bridge' along the HS2 route.

She said: ‘As we deliver the new high speed railway our country needs, it is imperative we set a new standard for protecting and enhancing our diverse woodlands and wildlife.’

Although the DfT described the £8.5m funding as 'extra', it confirmed to Transport Network that the case comes from HS2's existing budgets, which total 56bn.

Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 Campaign Manager said: ‘With 98 irreplaceable ancient woodlands under threat from HS2, this announcement is cynical corporate greenwashing at its worst, in the hope it will distract people from the fact H22 is billions of pounds over budget and spiralling out of control.’

The Government-owned firm claimed that the environmental works would be largest ever undertaken by an infrastructure project in the UK and would ‘set new standards for how Britain and the rest of Europe builds the next generation of major infrastructure projects’.

HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston said: ‘Alongside improving connectivity, boosting the economy and unlocking new jobs and opportunities, I’m determined to ensure that HS2 also works for the environment and local communities.’

The green corridor along the 216km Phase 1 route from London to the West Midlands, will include:

  • Seven million new trees and shrubs, including over 40 native species, specific to each location. The new native woodlands will cover over nine square kilometres of land.
  • Over 33 square kilometres of new and existing wildlife habitat – equating to an area the size of 4,600 football pitches. That’s an increase of around 30% compared to what’s there now.
  • Tailor-made homes for wildlife, ranging from bat houses to 226 new ponds for great crested newts and other amphibians.
  • Earthworks and landscaping which will re-use around 90% of the material excavated during construction.
  • The potential to support community projects and develop amenity spaces such as access routes, public parks, open spaces and nature reserves.
 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council