EDF Energy is spending £3 million (US$4.7 million) on an automated traffic management system (ATMS) that will control deliveries to the site of its proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, UK. The company’s new internet-based delivery management system aims to reduce the impact of road freight on local roads and will replace a paper-based system. It will integrate with automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR), which will be erected at strategic sites between the M5 motorway and the Hinkley Point C site to track HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) movements and ensure that only designated freight routes are used. Other strict traffic controls will be put in place, including requiring transport operators to book a delivery slot to the construction site weeks in advance and ensuring truck movements are limited during permitted hours.
The new system has been developed to fulfill a planning condition for site preparation works, but it is also planned to operate during the main construction phase, should consent be granted. The system will be introduced in phases from November 2012. Should the UK Government give its consent, Hinkley Point C will become Europe’s biggest building project and is expected to take 10 years to complete. Hinkley Point construction director, Nigel Cann, said, “This customized web-based traffic management solution will reduce the impact of HGVs on the local road network and improve operational efficiency. We recognize the concerns many people have about Hinkley Point C traffic during construction. Our whole transport strategy is therefore based on reducing the impact as much as possible, by delivering as much material as possible by sea, investing in road improvements and carrying workers to and from the site by bus. This investment is further evidence of progress on this important project and the steps being taken to minimize impacts on the local community.”
David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet member for economic development, commented, “We are delighted to have worked with EDF to help establish a system to monitor and control its construction traffic. We have always emphasized the importance of the highways and infrastructure issues. This is a very major step towards making sure the transport impacts of the project are managed and mitigated effectively.” Andrew Goodchild, West Somerset Council planning manager, noted, “We welcome the installation of the system, which will allow colleagues to monitor traffic and ensure that any use of unauthorized routes is identified, so the necessary action can be taken.” EDF has also said it will build a bypass around the village of Cannington and pay for road improvements in the area surrounding the town of Bridgwater, in order to help alleviate traffic congestion.
7 August 2012
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