Ensuring new UK rail link meets environmental standards
October 2015 marked the inauguration of the first new rail link between London and a major regional city since 1910, with the opening of East West Rail Project Phase 1 to Oxford Parkway Station. The new link is being implemented as part of Chiltern Railways Company Limited's rail operator's franchise.
ERM was involved in this historic project from the early design phase through project consent and construction up to the recent opening of the railway. Moving forward, we are working with the developer Network Rail, to monitor the effectiveness of applied ecological and acoustic mitigation measures now that the first phase of the new line is in operation. ERM will continue to be engaged in discharging the required consents for the remaining section of the line into Oxford and in operational monitoring, scheduled to extend to 2022.
During the consenting stage, ERM provided a wide range of services to the project. Our consultants provided consent process project management, planning advice, development of an Environmental Statement, stakeholder engagement (including project website management), media management and expert witness testimony during two public inquiries.
ERM worked with Network Rail and its joint venture contractor during the construction phase to ensure all relevant environmental conditions were met. Our technical experts supported the protection and relocation of protected species (e.g., bats, great crested newts and badgers), safeguarding areas designated for ecological and cultural heritage importance, archaeological excavation and recording, a scheme for noise mitigation and protection against flood risk.