The HS2 rail project is ensuring the highest emissions standards are met by construction vehicles on its sites.
It comes hot on the heels of the publication of the government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019 policy paper, which outlines ways in which the UK’s business sectors can improve air quality and boost the economy.
Transport is one of the sectors in question, and HS2 understands its role in helping to meet targets; once completed, it will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester – one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.
The sheer size of the project means HGVs and off road machinery will commonly be needed on site to carry supplies and build the 345 miles of high speed railway.
As such, HS2 Ltd has confirmed its drive to the highest emissions standards, helping to improve public health outcomes, while also encouraging the UK construction sector to invest in cleaner technologies.
All diesel HGVs working on the project will be powered by the cleanest Euro VI engines available, which goes beyond the current standards set in the UK.
By insisting HGVs comply with these standards, HS2 Ltd hopes it encourages organisations to invest in cleaner and more efficient vehicles.
For off-road machinery such as cranes, generators and diggers, HS2 is insisting any of this equipment across the length of the route meets the EU Stage 3b standard, rising to the less-polluting Stage 4, by 2020.
Peter Miller, HS2 Ltd’s Director of Environment, explained the reason for setting these new emissions standards.
“By setting new vehicle emission standards for contractors, we will contribute to efforts to improve air quality; and leave a legacy of a new fleet of low emission HGVs and construction equipment to work on future projects.
“We also hope our rules influence local authorities along the route to follow HS2’s lead and introduce exacting emissions standards in the area, which would benefit huge swathes of the country.”