Worcestershire Parkway is a new station at the intersection of the Worcester to London (OWW line) and Birmingham to Bristol lines (BAG lines) at Norton, 3.5 miles east of Worcester city centre. The location of the station offers direct passenger access to both aforementioned lines unlike the other stations currently in Worcester.
The station accommodates for the increase in demand for rail services to and from Worcestershire and contributes to the growth of the local economy by improving access to the rail network and reducing car based rail-heading to other stations such as Birmingham International, Cheltenham and Warwick Parkway.
- Support for the local economy of Worcestershire and the wider region in line with LEP Strategic Economic Plan which aims to create 27,000 new jobs in the area to boost the local economy and the South Worcestershire Development Plan which proposes 28,000 new homes being built in South Worcestershire, much of it in close proximity to the new station.
- A step change in direct rail access to people in Worcestershire and wider south Midlands area to the strategic rail network both north south and to/from London and South East.
- Improved access to rail in order to complement the improvements and maximise the benefits offered by IEP trains.
- Unlock the current suppressed demand, which exists as a result of limitations to current rail services and poor access opportunities for car users due to lack of parking spaces at stations.
- Encourage sustainable travel and contribute to environmental objectives through promoting modal shift to rail and consequently reducing car dependency.
- Reduce car usage on the Strategic Highway network by 6m kilometres per annum by 2031 .
People and Communities
The engagement with all stakeholders from local residents to disabilities user groups to local schools and the rail industry as a whole. Collaboration was clear and evidenced throughout and those involved both during delivery and after as users have a real sense of pride of the station and it’s facilities.
Ecology and biodiversity
The net gain in bidoversity and protection of local ecology during and post delivery is seen as a major success.
Local (and wider) flood management improvements as a result of the introduction of active and sustainable drainage.
Physical resources use and management
The reuse of virtually all of the site material by means of lime stabilistation treatment, the use of reclaimed oil pipes for foundations, efficient management / reduction of site waste.
What were the main challenges for the project and how were these overcome?
Existing Materials – the existing site material was not suitable to build directly on or use as construction material therefore, it was treated using lime stabilisation. This reduced the requirement to export/import new materials.
Reptile migration – the existing site had a rich habitat including reptiles which required management throughout the works. This was undertaken using Environmental Specialists to survey, monitor and migrate the reptiles as the site construction works progressed.
Biodiversity – it was the aspiration of the scheme from the outset to avoid as far as possible disruption to and reduction of the biodiversity of the site. As a result of rigorous monitoring and implementation of sympathetic landscaping, the site has seen a net gain in the biodiverse environment.
Sustainability – it was key that sustainability was at the heart of delivering Worcestershire Parkway. This was monitored and managed through all stages, particularly in delivery where HSQE experts were engaged to ensure adherence to site waste management plans, consents and permits relating to local water courses, protection of the local environs from contamination and existing habitat management. One specific example relates to the use of reclaimed and treated oil pipes as the steel pile foundations across the site.
Local transport infrastructure – the creation of a new roundabout to offer access to the station improved the local road environment by assisting traffic flow and reducing speeds.
Flood Management – the site was in a high risk flood areas and the introduction of active and managed drainage has not only delivered what was required to manage the station and car park facilities, but has also improved the water management more widely resulting in prevention of flooding to historically poor areas.
What were the drivers and perceived benefits for undertaking a CEEQUAL assessment on this project?
Key motives for the CEEQUAL Assessment related predominantly to improved public relations and greater focus on the local environment namely ensuring the least possible disruption to the biodiversity of the existing site and its surrounds.
How did the use of CEEQUAL influence the outcomes of the project?
Undertaking the CEEQUAL Assessment and providing evidences against the criteria challenged the projects thinking in a variety of ways including; how to demonstrate that processes and procedures already in place to manage (for example) site waste are forward thinking and innovative. It also served to demonstrate that in delivering rail projects, the systems in place are well thought through and robust in their support of managing the delivery of the scheme, protection of the local environment, the most efficient use of resources, the local water environment and the people and local communities.
What elements of this project highlight best practice and innovation?
Retained and enhanced biodiversity, site waste management efficiency, reduced import and export of site materials, reuse of reclaimed oil pipes for piled foundations, flood risk management and sustainable drainage improving the local and wider flood environment, stakeholder engagement and involvement, community engagement and support.
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