West Coast Main Line Rail Upgrade WorksHigh Class Consultancy for High Speed Travel
Services: Badger Survey, Flora Translocation, Ecological Site Supervision
Sector: Rail Infrastructure
Location: North West England, UK
Contract Ecology was engaged by a leading UK Rail Contractor to provide ecological impact assessments prior to undertaking several scheduled upgrade works on the busy West Coast Main Lane rail network in the northwest of England. The West Coast Main Line handles over 75m passengers per annum and carries 43% of all UK rail freight traffic. The works had to be carried out whilst the line stayed active so to minimise disruption to service.
Like many linear infrastructures the West Coast Main line abuts numerous protected sites which increases the likelihood of protected species to occur within the works area.
Scope of Works and Solution:
We started our consultation by undertaking Preliminary Ecological Appraisals and Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys at each work site. Each site had differing ecological issues to be addressed such as great crested newts, slow worms and badgers. One work site required contractors to work immediately adjacent to a Biological Heritage Site.
We worked with the client to prepare precautionary working measures so that contractors could continue their works whilst minimising any potential adverse impacts upon ecology. This included Ecological Site Supervision duties trackside to minimise the risk of disturbance to these species and habitats.
We also liaised with the LPA to design a translocation scheme to move protected flora to a new receptor site so that our client could progress with their project on cost and on time.
Our expert Ecologists focused on resolving ecological issues by working alongside contractors to ensure that the numerous sensitive habitats, statutory and non-statutory wildlife sites and ancient woodlands that fringe the high speed rail track remained undisturbed during the essential works.
We determined the appropriate level of precautionary measures that could be implemented to negate the need for EPS licensing which would have otherwise delayed the project whilst a licence was sought and in doing so reduced cost to the contractor.