WAYS TO ADDRESS
COMMON EFFECTS TO LINEAR TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
provides a summary of ways to address common effects to landscape and biological
diversity of transport and infrastructure. This is discussed in terms of the
planning, design, construction and subsequent management of schemes. Inevitably
there is an overlap between these four stages, partly dependent on local permits
and procurement procedures.
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an approach, which seeks to avoid, mitigate and compensate. In the first
instance consider the less harmful options.
an early consideration of landscape and biological diversity within the planning
on significant landscapes/habitats and species, for example resolving the
effects on threatened species; but do not overlook commonly occurring features
of the wider landscape.
schemes in transboundary locations.
The benefits of
strategic and scheme environmental assessment have been discussed in section 3.
The planning of a scheme should aim to avoid sensitive valued landscapes and
habitats. Inevitably a balance is required with these and other factors. To
complete an assessment requires knowledge of the characteristics of the scheme,
the likely effects and the measures required to reduce the negative effects.
Examples of this type of information are summarised in Table 5.1 to 5.4. The
earlier the involvement of landscape and ecological specialists the easier it is
to accommodate changes to the engineering scheme, In the first instance least
harmful alternatives should be considered.
effort should focus on specially protected areas and species, still it is
necessary to consider more commonly occurring features which contribute to the
diversity of the locality, for example the type of field boundary. Positive
benefits can be achieved by co-ordinating the transport infrastructure with
adjacent land uses, for example to assist with the development of
landscape/habitat corridors (as suggested for the Pan-European Ecological
Where schemes cross
national boundaries differences in legislation can lead to a double standard and
unnecessary confusion. Co-ordination is required and for practical reasons it is
easier to adopt one set of standards. Other problems relate to the mismatch of a
scheme either side of the border with one section/terminal unknowingly
determining the alignment of the section in the adjacent state with potential
repercussions for protected areas. These matters should be addressed during the
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scheme design and management to the character of the landscape/scenery and
biological diversity in the area.
a flexible approach to engineering design standards/criteria to accommodate the
character and value of the landscape/habitat/species in the area. Consider the
appropriateness of standard solutions in the local context.
reactive to opportunities for enhancement/maximising benefits, and minimising
disbenefits including fitting the scheme into the wider landscape and relating
it to the biological context.
Roads are associated
with greater environmental effects than either rail or water transport but this
largely reflects the demand and associated extent of the network. In some
locations railways and waterways can be equally or more damaging than roads.
Strategic environmental assessment should help to draw out such major
differences as part of the evaluation of alternative solutions. At a much more
detailed level, the application of EIA to the design process
of the scheme should enable decisions to be taken to accommodate local
design standards of a scheme relate to the provision of safe conditions for the
user with consequential differences in landtake (Table 4.1). Thus the need for
gentle curves and gradients on motorways or high-speed trains (HST) have the
potential to cause a greater negative effect than a more local scheme. However,
larger schemes are associated with a greater need for funding and legal control,
including an EIA. Such control can regulate the need for the scheme and ensure
the quality of detailed design including adopting a flexible approach to
engineering and other design criteria and/or standards in order to accommodate
local features of landscape and ecological value. As new technologies are
developed the design will need to consider their environmental effects.
Minor (local) and
upgrading transport schemes may be subject to fewer legal restrictions but can
cause significant negative effects, particularly in locations where the scale of
the landscape is small and the value of biological diversity high. Such effects
should be identified in an environmental impact assessment. This highlights the
benefits of following the environmental assessment approach in all cases.
Comparative land take for different design standards of road and rail
degraded or intensively developed localities opportunities for the enhancement
of landscape or biological diversity can result from the construction of
transport infrastructure (Verheyden and Meunier, 1998). This can be more
successful when enhancement focuses on particular landscape features, habitats
or species. Other initiatives may be able to achieve such enhancement outside of
the transport corridor for example, agri environment schemes which change
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attention to detailed design with respect to the visual and ecological aspects
including the use of fauna-friendly designs.
procedures to enable the acquisition of appropriate land for environmental
best available technology including surface materials, feasibility of recycling
and recycling of materials/surplus spoil.
the environmental effects of siting construction camps, storage areas and future
associated developments, e.g. service station/marinas, maintenance depot.
specialists to monitor environmental compliance on site, including during the
and involve local organisations/people in these stages.
Land acquisition is
a crucial stage in the construction process. The procedures vary between states
but where possible the area acquired should include land needed to ensure the
implementation of mitigation and compensation measures. Without the acquisition
of such land there is no certainty that land occupiers will agree to the
proposed measures with a greater risk of consequential long-term environmental
information on the scheme at the approved time of submission for planning
approval can vary. The level of detail in the environmental impact assessment
can vary and also is mostly led by the engineering design including information
on ground conditions from the site investigation. Prior to construction work
there in is an opportunity for a further level of detail design where landscape
and ecological matters need to be re considered alongside engineering, for
example the design of the drainage to integrate with the setting or protect
wildlife including water balancing facilities, and the benefits of different
types of surface materials. Just before construction starts the need for
additional surveys should be considered, especially for species which may have
moved since the original surveys were undertaken.
environmental and cost benefits are achieved where there is a balance in the
earthworks i.e. cuttings and embankments. But this is not always possible, for
example site investigation may find that excavated material is unsuitable to
re-use for construction purposes and requires land for disposal. Knowing that
this is likely will assist the development of more sustainable solutions and the
application of best available technology. For example, using surplus or recycled
material to integrate the scheme into the landscape, or restoring borrow pits to
benefit waterfowl. The ‘need’ to import material can extend the ripple of
environmental effects of the scheme but is outside the scope of this Code.
infrastructure differs from many other forms of development on account of its
linear nature and the associated extensive interface of construction works.
Earth storage areas/borrow pits and plant may be established along the route to
reduce haulage costs. Access for construction vehicles may require
widening/upgrading of the local transport network so spreading the environmental
effects of the transport line over a wider corridor. The fine detail of such
proposals may be known only at a relatively late date in the programme but at
the time of scheme approval can be controlled by the placement of “no go”
areas within and adjacent to the construction corridor. As an absolute minimum
it is important to locate sensitive areas in the corridor to avoid risk of
contractual arrangements vary with the traditional separation between the
client, “designer” and the builder where the designer acts on behalf of the
client supervising the works. More recent arrangements include “design and
build” where the contractor is responsible for the detailed design and
construction to meet the overall objectives of the scheme. In this case, an
agent may represent the client. The agent checks that construction work is
implemented following procedures set out in a number of agreed method
statements. This approach can provide a closer relationship between those
advising on landscape and ecological aspects, and those directly undertaking
construction work. It requires the retention of specialists within the
The application of
Environmental Management, i.e. ISO 14001 (1S0 1996), enables the planning of
construction operations so as to reduce the environmental risk including
programming of work, for example, to relate to the seasonal requirements of
certain species, such as clearing trees outside the bird breeding season.
Compliance with legal requirements gives greater weight to the management system
and this in turn is fundamentally dependent on the robustness of the local
legislation and regulations.
construction activities directly affect land occupiers as well as local
residents. Relationships with both these groups will be eased considerably if
they are kept informed. This assists with community relations and can have
additional environmental benefits with respect to monitoring and early warnings
of accidents. Specialist interest groups, for example local conservation or
hunting organisations can assist with monitoring movement patterns of certain
species and supplement other data collected on a professional basis.
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natural life cycles into maintenance plans, for example the long term
development of vegetation.
and incorporate maintenance requirements and relate to local practices.
and review management practices with respect to opportunities for landscape and
the functioning/performance of environmental measures, for example passages for
wildlife, water quality, and adjust as necessary.
For the safe
functioning of the scheme, ongoing management is required for the hard and soft
estate. This too can have environmental consequences, for example combating icy
conditions by application of salt, or the application of herbicides can result
in the pollution of local watercourses and/or the contamination of the soil with
consequential affects to the flora and fauna.
maintenance programmes the setting and reviewing of management objectives for
the soft estate is helpful in order to accommodate the growth of vegetation.
Functional or safety
requirements can be combined with those for visual purposes and wildlife i.e. to
include regular checking of fence designed to protect the road from crossing
vertebrates, or relate the cutting frequency of grassland maintenance to
available to enhance the soft estate within the scheme boundary. These should
form part of the long-term management plan over say a 20-30 year period.
Enhancement of existing transport infrastructure may be driven by wider
environmental objectives (Box 3.6) although associated cost advantages have a
role also, for example the provision of a wildlife crossing can reduce accidents
and thereby save money. These measures have been implemented on some roads and
there is a need for similar considerations along both the rail and waterway
The design of a
scheme may include special measures to protect biological diversity and
landscape. In addition to checking that these measures have been constructed
correctly, monitoring should be undertaken as to the effectiveness. This is
needed on account of unpredictable responses of wildlife to external changes and
to changes arising from the route itself. Monitoring should enable the
effectiveness of measures to be reviewed and adapted if necessary.
Box 4.1 Pilot Project:Losiniy ostrov
The “Losiniy ostrov” National Park
is located on the north-eastern side of Moscow, between Moscow and the cities of
Korolyov and Miytischi. The Park includes a variety of ecosystems including
primary forest. A large number of types of animals are present in the Park
including those that use it for a migration route. The Park has an important
social and educational function.
The Park is influenced by the presence
of built up areas, and by the Moscow Ring Highway (MKAD)/Lesser Ring of the
Moscow Railway (MK MZhD) on its boundaries. The proposed Third High Speed Ring
Expressway is likely to cross the park, and will require interchanges/crossings
of the existing roads and railway line.
The pilot project reviewed the current
MKAD and proposed Expressway with respect to animal movements along existing and
potential crossing points; and wider environmental effects.
The conclusions and recommendations were
that there was a need to:
1.Ensure that the crossing points are
situated on routes where animals are known to cross, and the surfacing of those
routes is as natural as possible.
2.Ensure the animal crossing points are
clear of snow and rubbish dropped by human beings, with the necessary
coordination between road maintenance workers and park wardens.
3. Provide Buffer zones between the road
and forest, with consideration given to pollutant resistant trees to reduce the
pollution of primary forest areas.
4. Ensure that the highway maintenance
protects the surrounding environment in the park, from problems caused by the
overuse of herbicides and pesticides; dust from the road; and the overuse of
5. Design landscape measures to maximise
the wildlife benefit rather than for purely aesthetic reasons.
6. Ensure that all contract
documentation relating to the new project, its design, construction and
maintenance, fully take into account the importance of the Park.