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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Keeping the effects of construction traffic as low as we can

By Jacqui Fenn, senior consents officer 

Planning how we get our materials and people to and from site, while keeping effects on local people as low as we can, is an important part of our work.

It’s also something that people are keen to understand more about.  Understandably, they want assurance that construction won’t cause delays to their normal journeys, such as to and from work or school.

This is always our first aim too and we carefully plan routes for our construction traffic with local people and their journeys clearly in mind.

To build the connection we will need a whole range of vehicles. Mostly, this will include heavy and light goods vehicles, cars and vans, already widely using the roads in Anglesey and Gwynedd. For the tunnel, we might also need a very small number of specialist vehicles to bring the tunnelling equipment to site.

When the total number of vehicles for construction is taken into account, it can look like a large number. In reality though, our construction work will only account for a small percentage increase in vehicles each day.  

So how do we go about planning the routes and vehicle movements?  Well, we have lots of experience of managing projects of this scale and a strong track record of making sure our construction traffic doesn’t cause disruption.

The work to achieve that for this project has already started and will continue all through construction. 

We always look to stay on main A-roads for as long as possible, only using local roads to deliver equipment when we get close to our construction site.  When we leave the public highway machinery and materials are transported on temporary haul roads which only our vehicles use. The haul roads are then removed after construction and the land reinstated (although sometimes landowners ask us to leave them for their own use).

We’re working closely with local people and specialist bodies to get their views. That includes the councils in Anglesey and Gwynedd, the Welsh Government and highway authorities, and the emergency services. For this project, we’re also co-ordinating with Horizon Nuclear Power to understand what roads they plan to use to build Wylfa Newydd.

Suitable routes for vehicles were included in our consultation last autumn. This month, following feedback from Anglesey Council’s transport team and our own assessments, we’ve made some updates which you can read about here.

As we move forward, and should the connection be granted consent, we will make more detailed plans. This will continue to involve all the relevant authorities, so they can influence our work. This would normally consider things such as:

  • setting appropriate speed limits for our vehicles
  • looking at peak road usage times and ways to avoid these
  • additional road users, such as holidaymakers or other construction projects
  • making sure roads are kept clean and clear of debris
  • any temporary measures to help traffic flow, such as temporary traffic lights or junction upgrades
  • keeping people up to date all through the construction programme

All in all, we have lots of options available to make sure roads continue to be safe and efficient for everyone to use, just as they are now.

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