Clause 35 - Noise

Part of High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 1 March 2016.

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Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 3:30, 1 March 2016

The hon. Gentleman talks about excavated material. Material from the tunnelling process—the majority of the line from Euston to Old Oak Common is a tunnel—will be transported out to the end of the tunnel; it will not be put on lorries at Euston and transported around there. We have a lot of experience of that in this country. We have, for example, the Queen Elizabeth line. We have a number of major projects being delivered from a transport infrastructure and housing and office point of view in London, so we have some experience of how to limit and mitigate the impacts of traffic.

As the Minister responsible for cycling, I am also aware of the risks caused to pedestrians and cyclists by tipper trucks. A number of accidents have happened where vehicles are turning left and cyclists have found themselves on the inside. The codes of practice that we have previously used will, I am sure, be used by the construction industry as it delivers the project, to ensure that we minimise that risk.

I understand that the hon. Gentleman proposes a new clause later in the Bill with regard to transporting material by rail. We can discuss that subject in more detail when we debate that new clause. I understand his concern to limit, where possible, the amount of material transported by road. When we have to transport goods and material by road, we must ensure that we do so in the way that is most sympathetic to the community, working with the local authority and, as we saw last week in Camden, having a location where people can go to get information about the sequencing of work.  They will then know which roads might be closed or particularly used for trucks, so that they can plan their lives around that.

We are very conscious of the impact that this project will have during construction, but we are also very conscious of the long-term benefits for the Camden area in general and Euston in particular of the delivery of this transformational project, which will make Euston every bit as much a totemic station as King’s Cross and others around the country.