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Construction work in Camden, London
Construction work in Camden, London

Air quality management in Camden

Air quality is affected by construction in several ways: by exhaust fumes of construction vehicles and effects from road closures and diversions making some roads busier.

HS2 will seek to reduce traffic impact to the local community through a range of considerations and will monitor air quality in the wider area around Euston. 

Efforts to reduce traffic impacts:

  • HS2 have strict emissions criteria requirements for engines of contractors’ vehicles. 
  • HS2 have set emissions criteria requirements for the engines of non-road mobile machinery e.g., excavators, large cranes and piling machines. 
  • Establishing a traffic liaison group including HS2, Camden Council and emergency services. 
  • Using designated lorry routes on A roads where possible and minimising the use of local roads. 
  • Routes for large goods vehicles must be approved by Camden Council where there are more than 24 large goods vehicle movements per day to or from a compound. 
  • Producing Local Traffic Management Plans with Camden Council, TfL and emergency services before the start of work. 
  • Requiring lorry drivers to be trained in reducing emissions, as part of their ongoing Certificate of Professional Competency training while on the project. 
  • Requiring construction vehicles to use a booking management system, to smooth flow of traffic and avoid construction vehicles queuing on the road. 

How are we going to measure air quality?

We are monitoring nitrogen dioxide at 67 locations in Camden using diffusion tubes. Air quality monitoring began in summer 2016 to establish a baseline and will continue during construction for as long as it is necessary to manage significant effects.

Indicative measurements of construction dust (as particulate matter PM10) using continuous monitors is being used to manage dust during construction and ensure appropriate mitigation is in place. 

Kings College London dust monitoring study

HS2 commissioned Kings College London to complete an independent research study. The research is part of Kings College’s ongoing air quality construction site research programme. This study tests the efficacy of the current level construction site dust monitors are set and makes a series of new recommendations.

Kings College London’s research study, funded by HS2, examined the current best practice level at which construction site dust monitors trigger alarms are set. The study reviewed over 1.8 million dust measurements taken from monitoring results from nine construction sites and recommended  a revised trigger alarm concentration measured over a revised period. It also recommended a series of new operational quality standards. 

HS2 have committed to complying with current and future construction site dust monitoring national best practice. HS2 have submitted this report to the authors of that guidance so they can consider its findings. 

Air Quality and Dust Monitoring Monthly Reports

These reports present the monthly air quality monitoring undertaken each month for HS2 within local authorities along the Phase One Route. The reports are available here.

The reports contain monitoring data and interpretative results and include a summary of the construction activities occurring; any complaints received; the data recorded over the monitoring period; any periods in exceedance of agreed trigger levels; the results of any investigations; and where the HS2 works have been found to be the source, any action taken to resolve the issue and to prevent a recurrence. The HS2 monitoring includes PM10 and Nitrogen Dioxide. 

High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd and its Contractors are required to undertake air quality and dust monitoring, and produce monthly reports, to comply with the Code of Construction Practice (CoCP). The reports are specific to each local authority area along the Phase One route. 

The CoCP forms part of the Environment Minimum Requirements (EMRs). The EMRs set out high-level environmental and sustainability commitments to be carried out during the planning and implementation of works along the Phase One route.