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Traffic management

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.