CIHT Sustainability Award

Winner

Highways Habitat Connectivity in Devon and Cornwall

Kier Highways Ltd

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The on-going development of the strategic road network is vital to the UK economy, but the transport corridors created pose one of the biggest barriers to wildlife movement, exacerbating habitat fragmentation. Moving forward, climate change will only worsen this issue.

Every issue brings an opportunity and huge potential exists for these same corridors to become corridors for wildlife along with transport and people. Early planning allows each project to be considered on a landscape scale, with meaningful, cost effective solutions/enhancements delivered. This goes above and beyond what is required to manage a road network and ensures environmental sustainability and protection of habitats for future generations.

This project utilised core data collected from previous studies and innovatively used remote sensing and earth observation techniques, the results of which were cross mapped with species data. This data exists for the whole country and can be replicated at relatively low cost for major developments.
To date, the project has delivered 3 habitat creation schemes, connecting several areas of standalone habitat with potential for high biodiversity value. These areas were suffering from fragmentation, with isolated populations of protected species - this project maximised the potential for free movement of species across the landscape.

Judges Comments

A scheme that has grown over the years and delivered thousands of hectares of biodiverse habitat. 

Highly Commended 

During Storm Emma in March 2018 the key link between Slapton and Strete Gate, known as the Slapton Line was completely washed away.

Devon County Council (DCC) and local MP Sarah Wollaston acted quickly to secure £2.5m of government funding. Immediately after the DCC Design Team developed designs and by July works commenced having obtained required planning consent.

A379 Slapton Line

Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd and Devon County Council

DCC engaged Griffiths in April via their Framework to work with them in the pre-construction phase to develop construction programmes/methodology. Early engagement was critical to success as the site was constrained on one side by the beach and the other by a SSSI. Additionally the site had UXO Risks due to its use in WW2, was of archaeological significance and a reptile habitat.

Close liaison was required between Slapton Line Partnership, Field Studies Centre and Natural England along with extensive public consultation.

In total 1km of road was reconstructed including the removal of the old road, part of which led on the beach. In order to minimise excavation in SSSI and improve programme a single 75mm layer asphalt was used on top of granite sub-base.

The road was open to traffic in October, just over 7 months after it was washed away.

Judges Comments

Working in an emergency situation they managed to act with environmental sensitivity and deliver a successful scheme.

Commended

Waltham Forest is the first Council in the UK to facilitate the introduction of a zero emissions delivery service in its borough: ZED Waltham Forest. This service targets local businesses and first and last mile deliveries utilising cargo bikes, trikes, and electric vehicles to courier goods within the borough and beyond. 

ZED Waltham Forest

ZED Waltham Forest/ Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest had historically suffered with congestion, a declining high street offer and air pollution, with the borough a designated Air Quality Management Area since 2001. This service provides residents and businesses with the opportunity to support their local economy whilst improving air quality through encouraging them to leave their vehicles at home and instead walk, cycle and use public transport, utilising the new sustainable transport infrastructure across the borough. 

Judges Comments

The increasing mileage travelled by delivery vans has been an issue for transport authorities across the country. The ZED Waltham Forest Scheme is commended for its innovative and sustainable approach to last mile deliveries which can be an example for transport authorities across the country.

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