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Comparison Table 5.1 

Comparison of main physical and user characteristics of strategic linear transport systems : structural aspects

 

Aspect

Roads

Railways

Waterways

Hierarchy type of network

Extensive network related to size and user figures

Truncated network

Ruderal network

Harmonisation of freight standards influences the scale of the scheme including the need for larger structures/clearances and speed

Larger class of freight vehicle

Growth in user numbers

Development of high speed rail links

Internodal railway links

Larger class of river/sea ships

 

Linear feature

May conflict with scale of natural land form and pattern of features

May conflict with scale of natural land form and pattern of features

May conflict with scale of natural land form and pattern of features.

Cross watersheds and floodplains

Track type

Constructed: pavement engineered surface tarmac and concrete; broad and flat

Constructed: load bearing flat track, ballast bed, metal rails and sleepers

Water- natural element but regulated. Canals have vertical edges and access tracks along the banks for maintenance

Earth works influenced by topography affecting land take including valued habitats/species

Most responsive to changes in topography

Highly responsive to changes in topography

 

Least responsive to changes in topography

Tend to increase with boat size

Head room requirements influence scale of earthworks/crossing structures

Tend to increase with traffic and vehicle size

Generally larger than for roads

Tend to increase with speed.

Generally larger than roads

Tend to increase with boat size


 

Aspect

Roads

Railways

Waterways

Ancillary structures

Signs, Lighting, Barriers,

Fencing

Communication network in verge

Drainage structures

Electric traction requires overhead cabling and gantries

Fencing

Communication network alongside track

Drainage structures

Occasional need for maintenance track

Dams and locks

Bunding

Reinforced banks

Maintenance track

 

Embankment slopes

Angle of slope affects land take, habitat loss and fragmentation.

Opportunity for creating wildlife habitats/corridors in keeping with local habitat and soils

Maintenance required for sight lines

Angle of slope affects land take and habitat loss/fragmentation.

Opportunity for creating wildlife habitats/corridors between structures in keeping with local habitats and soils

Maintenance of woody vegetation to protect overhead cables, includes slope clearance every 5-10 years

Regular maintenance of trackside vegetation to keep track clear

 

Angle of slope affects land take and habitat loss/fragmentation.

Opportunity for creating wildlife habitats/corridors in keeping with local habitats and soils

Bank erosion from boat traffic affects marginal aquatic vegetation

Pattern of traffic movement

Continuous and/or peaked

Fast with noise and light

 

Intermittent, fast and noisy

 

Intermittent

 

 


Table 5.2 Examples of the physical and user effects on landscape and biological diversity

 

Effect

Roads

Railways

Waterways

Microclimate

Embankments may dam or channel air movements

Increased heat from road surface

Build up of cold air in winter

Air turbulence generated by traffic

 

Embankments may dam or channel air movements

Increased heat from track surface

Heat accumulation in ballast

Irregular but large displacements of air (the woosh effect) dependent on speed of train

Embankments may dam or channel air movements

Increased air humidity

Hydrology

Canalisation/straightening of adjacent water courses including deepening to assist drainage

Changes to natural groundwater regimes

Increased flooding of water through surface water collection

Drying out and damming of natural drainage

Opportunities for habitat enhancement

Canalisation/straightening of adjacent water courses including deepening to assist drainage

Changes to natural groundwater regimes

Changes to surface water run-off patterns

Opportunities for habitat enhancement

Regulation of river flows

Possible risk of drying out of floodplains/ marshlands

Changes to natural groundwater regimes

Mixing of water quality across catchments

 

Introduction of exotic species

Conduit for seed dispersal from wheels

Development of salt loving species in verge

Conduit for seed dispersal from carriages and freight transport

Conduit for fauna/ flora dispersal from ballast water, and interconnecting watersheds

Barrier effects

Embankments and ancillary structures disrupt views

Fencing, width of structure and intensity of traffic flow prevent crossing movements

Habitat fragmentation affecting population viability

Deviation of animals seeking to circumvent obstacle.

Embankments and ancillary structures disrupt views

Fencing, track surface inhibit crossing movements

Habitat fragmentation affecting population viability

Deviation of animals seeking to circumvent obstacle

Embankments and ancillary structures disrupt views

Bank profile inhibits crossing movements

Habitat fragmentation affecting population viability

Deviation of animals seeking to circumvent obstacle


 

Wildlife mortality

Risk of animal mortality from attempts to cross and also because wildlife is attracted to embankments

Risk of animal mortality from attempts to cross and also because wildlife is attracted to embankments

Zero risk by collision but very high risk of drowning

Water pollution and accidental spillages

 

 

Surface water run-off/spray includes hydrocarbons, tyre residues, suspended solids and de-icing salts with implications for soil pollution

Increased risk of accidental spillage associated with increased volumes of traffic

 

Contaminated track bed run-off including herbicides, faecal matter, metal dust and lubricants is fed into adjacent drains/groundwater

Increased risk of accidental spillage associated with transport of hazardous substances

Domestic waste, oil from users

Increased risk of accidental spillage associated with increased volumes of traffic

 

Lighting

Attracts insects and bats, and can create barrier

Permanent light at night even in remote rural areas

Continuous lighting of road by vehicle headlights

General disturbance of wildlife activities

Non-continuous light

Little effect on wildlife

Little or no light except at some marinas etc

No effect on wildlife

Noise

Can be continuous disturbs wildlife and tranquil areas

Intermittent short "whoosh" effect

Variable in duration and levels





Outmoded or abandoned network

Ancient roads/track ways may form a cultural landscape feature

Less frequently abandoned upgrading more likely

Early structures may form cultural landscape feature especially viaducts

Colonised by variety of species and can provide green links in urban areas or degraded landscapes

Alternative uses for recreation may have negative consequences for biological diversity. Occasionally reinstated for commercial use.

Early structures may form cultural landscape feature especially aqueducts

Colonised by variety of species and can provide green links in urban areas or degraded landscapes

Alternative uses for recreation or water transfer may have negative consequences for biological diversity

 

 

Table 5.3 Examples of typical solutions to problems affecting landscape and biological diversity arising during the design and construction period of roads, railways and waterways

 

Typical problem

Roads

Railways

Waterways

Land take

Redesign embankments/cuttings to reduce land take in sensitive areas, and amount of surplus material

Redesign embankments/cuttings to reduce land take in sensitive areas, and amount of surplus material

Redesign embankments to reduce land take in sensitive areas, and amount of surplus material

Integration into landscape

Design profile to provide natural appearance and wildlife benefit

Design profile to provide natural appearance and wildlife benefit

Design profile to provide natural appearance and wildlife benefit

Habitat loss/damage

Avoid, mitigate and compensate for habitat/species

Before start of construction works erect protective fencing around features to be retained or re located eg trees

Avoid, mitigate and compensate for habitat/species

Before start of construction works erect protective fencing around features to be retained or re located eg trees

Avoid, mitigate and compensate for habitat/species

Before start of construction works erect protective fencing around features to be retained or re located eg trees

Habitat severance

Design crossings for wildlife

Maintain temporary crossing facilities for animals for duration of works.

Design crossings for wildlife

Maintain temporary crossing facilities for animals for duration of works

 

Design crossings for wildlife

Maintain temporary crossing facilities for animals for duration of works

 

Water pollution

Porous tarmac can reduce spray and run off

Provide areas to retain and treat surface water and spillages

Protect soil stores to reduce erosion

Waterproof plain and collect surface water in risk areas

Provide areas to retain and treat surface water and spillages

Protect soil stores to reduce erosion

Supervise earthmoving sites and equipment

Protect soil stores to reduce erosion

Air pollution

Wash down surfaces to reduce dust including wheel wipe

Wash down surfaces to reduce dust including wheel wipe

Wash down surfaces to reduce dust including wheel wipe

 


Table 5.4 Examples of typical solutions to problems arising from the use of roads, railways and waterways

 

Typical problem

Roads

Railways

Waterways



Traffic movement in the landscape

Vertical adjustment, artificial mounding in character with local landscape e.g. field boundaries

Tree and shrub planting in character with local landscape vegetation type.

 

Vertical adjustment, artificial mounding character with local landscape e.g. field boundaries

Tree/shrub planting in character with local landscape and vegetation type

Reduce speed of boat traffic to reduce bank erosion.

Tree and shrub planting in character with local landscape and vegetation type

Relate size of vessel to depth and width of water/channel

Animal movement (ref COST 341)

Adaptation of existing structures e.g. underpasses/culverts, green bridges, ledges in relation to wildlife movement patterns and habitats

Fence to suit certain types of species

Consider providing tunnels (note additional cost and excavated material)

Verges provide linkages across degraded habitats

Adaptation of existing structures e.g. underpasses/culverts, green bridges, ledges in relation to wildlife movement patterns and habitats

Overhead train power lines may reduce opportunities for bridges/overpasses

Fence to suit certain species

Consider provision of tunnels (note associated economic penalties and excavated material)

Verges provide linkages across degraded habitats

Less opportunity for crossing structures

Include fauna stepping out structures and species protection measured on banks

Fish passes and side channels enable free migration of aquatic organisms round dams

Noise

Adjustment of alignment and addition of bunds and noise barriers check landscape and ecological consequences

Review type of surface material

Adjustment of alignment and addition of bunds and noise barriers check landscape and ecological consequences

 


 

Typical problem

Roads

Railways

Waterways

Water pollution and accidental spillages

 

Interceptor drains with regular maintenance required linked to areas to retain and treat surface water and spillages

Engineering and vegetative system to store, ameliorate and treat run off

Use of porous tarmac reduces spray

Develop emergency contingency plan

Interceptor drains with regular maintenance required linked to areas to retain and treat surface water and spillages

Engineering and vegetative system to store, ameliorate and treat run off

Develop emergency contingency plan

Install free collection points for waste from users

Develop emergency contingency plan

Air pollution

Dependent on type of fuel, traffic flow free and microclimate-vegetation can provide a natural filter

Use of porous tarmac reduces spray

Vegetation can provide a natural filter

 

Lighting

Adopt best available technology and in rural areas restrict to essential locations

Use methods which minimize spillage of light and where possible avoid lighting on link sections

Adopt best available technology and in rural areas restrict to essential locations 

 

Adopt best available technology and in rural areas restrict to essential locations  eg marinas

 

Maintenance

Adapt verges and access ways to enhance wildlife value

Assess the implications of changes for maintenance and improvement work to enhance wildlife value of verges and drainage facilities

Assess the wildlife implications of maintenance for adverse weather conditions

Adapt to enhance wildlife value of verges and drainage facilities

Assess the implications of changes for maintenance and improvement work to enhance wildlife value of verges and drainage facilities

Assess the wildlife implications of maintenance for adverse weather conditions

Adapt to enhance wildlife value of verges and drainage facilities

Organise dredging outside fish reproduction period

Select dredging access and disposal points in relation to zones of activity and types of riparian habitat

   

 

 

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