One concern I think we all share about the Latchmore Brook project is the transport of the infill materials. This is due to cause a certain amount disturbance and inconvenience to those residents and visitors along the delivery routes, as well as valid questions about the safety for both road and Forest users, man and beast. I’ve already had a private go at the FC and LUC over their need to provide concise and useful figures for the public to properly convey the size of the issue. Here I attempt a stop-gap.
Movement of materials to the nine stockpiles to service nine different project areas is due to run over four different access routes in two or three of the four years of the overall project. Two of these access routes are via relatively well used roads, the B3078 Roger Penny Way from either Godshill or Brook to Telegraph Hill, and the turning from the A31 to Stony Cross, then the turning towards Slufters and Cadman’s Pool, followed by the turn towards HighCorner /Linwood, almost immediately turning off onto the Forest Track to Holly Hatch / Alderhill. The more problematic routes go through the village / cul de sac Fritham, home of the Royal Oak pub, which some consider the unofficial office of the NFA, the other through the village of South Gorley and Ogdens.
As you drive northeast up the unnamed road towards Ogdens, many of the houses grow larger. You’ll pass Fir Tree Farm, one of the best placed and few remaining commercial stables on the Forest, its manège is only a fence and a few feet away from the narrow lane, riders in the school may not appreciate the extra challenge to their control and aid skills as their mounts react to passing tipper lorries. After the stables, the road becomes a forest track, with more modest dwellings fronting directly and quite closely to the road.
Naturally we have every sympathy for those who may be effected. All the more reason to get at some realistic, and relate-able numbers.
I’ve seen and heard alarming figures, 70HGV movements a day or 44000 HGVs over the course of the project, which I’ve discovered to be ridiculously overblown. Not that I blame anyone for getting this wrong as the planning documents do not lay out the information in a helpful way. I had to bounce around four or five of the submitted statements and appendices to pull this together.
|1.3 The works are anticipated to last for approximately 4-12 weeks (July-September) per year over a period of 4 years. If weather conditions are poor (wet), works may halted temporarily to protect ground conditions.
4.9 The highest maximum number of deliveries for each route to the site per day has been calculated as follows:
4.10 In addition to the HGV movements set out above, there will be approximately six employees on site associated with the restoration works (i.e. total 12 movements per day).
In two of the planning documents we are only given maximums or ranges, we’re told a maximum of 25 HGV deliveries per day per route, a window of 4-12 weeks in each of the four years, this last is the beginning of distortion as only the 2019 Phase is 12 weeks July to September the other three are 4-8 weeks August-September.
Back to one of the numbers being bandied about by alarmists. 70 HGV’s per day. If someone has quoted this figure at you, they are either lying, or unknowingly passing on an intentional lie. The only way one could arrive at the number 70 is to take the maximum 25 HGV deliveries, the 4 tractor/trailer, plus up to 6 staff vehicles for a total of 35 roundtrips = 70 movements, only 50 movements are HGV (still not a small amount, but smaller, and a maximum, averages may be lower). As we’ll note later, despite the stated maximum of 4 tractor/trailer deliveries per day conjuring an equal level of traffic, the number bale deliveries becomes negligible very quickly.
Here’s the initial information I pulled out of the “Appendix 4.1: Estimated Restoration Material Quantities and Transport Movements Data” (a diabolically poorly laid out document in which every 2 out of three tables has a single line, in some case, a single cell). The 22 separate tables are easily and more usefully aggregated into three tables, the first gives us Material Quantities, the primary information we need to derive the number of deliveries, the other two Maximum number of deliveries per day clay/gravel/hoggin and heather bales respectively (plus Delivery timescale for HGV loads). You’ll forgive the small size required to squeeze this in here. The more important summary tables that follow will be suitably legible.
Table 1: Estimated Material Quantities
|Project Area||Stockpile||Lorry Route||Hoggin & Washed Gravels (tonnes)||Clay (tonnes)||Minimum Tipper Deliveries||Minimum Tipper Days||_||Heather Bales||Minimum Tractor Deliveries||Minimum Tractor Days|
|Islands Thorns||Picket Corner||Telegraph Hill||10004.6||4001.8||702||29||1815||7||2|
|Islands Thorns||Islands Thorns||Fritham||5002.3||2000.9||352||15||1815||7||2|
|Islands Thorns||Fritham Bridge||Fritham||5002.3||2000.9||352||15|
|Thompson’s Castle:||Hampton Ridge||Telegraph Hill||460||2||1|
|Thompson’s Castle:||Ogdens Car Park||Ogdens||2071.0||829||146||6|
|Latchmore Mire:||Hampton Ridge||Telegraph Hill||1944||7||2|
|Studley Wood:||Claypits||Telegraph Hill||5860||2344||411||17||986||4||1|
|Studley Wood:||Picket Corner||Telegraph Hill||5860||2344||411||17|
|Ogdens Mire:||Ogdens Mire||Ogdens||2280||8||2|
|Ogdens Mire:||Ogdens Car Park||Ogdens||99.75||39.9||7||1|
|Amberwood and Alderhill Inclosures:||Fritham Bridge||Fritham||9662.43||3864.97||678||28|
|Amberwood and Alderhill Inclosures:||Alderhill Inclosure||Alderhill||9662.43||3864.97||678||28||1920||7||2|
|Watergreen Bottom:||Alderhill Inclosure||Alderhill||500||2||1|
|Latchmore Shade:||Ogdens Car Park||Ogdens||9755.4||3902.16||684||28|
I have added four columns of calculations, number of both deliveries and days for each material. In each case all numbers are rounded up to the nearest whole number before being used as a factor in the next calculation. These are based on both the optimal 100% load capacity and the maximum number of deliveries per day, and so derive the minimum number of deliveries necessary for each location/phase/route of the project. Depending on your point of view, this is perhaps the best case scenario, the maximum amount of disruption each day, but the fewest number of days.
Table 1a1: Estimated Material Quantities by Route by Year HGVs
|Year||Lorry Route||Hoggin & Washed Gravels (tonnes)||Clay (tonnes)||Minimum Tipper Deliveries||Minimum Tipper Days|
If the lorry loads are always at fullest capacity, than the number of deliveries remains constant. That’s the minimum number of deliveries that would have to happen, you could have them in the fewest number of days if the maximum deliveries per day is reached, but more likely you may want to spread that pain.
Table 1b1: Estimated Deliveries/Days by Route by Year and Comparison to %90 Capacity / 20 deliveries/day snapshot
|Year||Lorry Route||Minimum Tipper Deliveries||90% Capacity Tipper Deliveries||Minimum Tipper Days||90% Capacity 20 Max Tipper Days|
For a lesser case scenario, I tweaked numbers for HGV loads at 90% of Capacity, which would increase the number of deliveries required, and thus the number of days, and further increased the number of days by decreasing the maximum deliveries per day to 20. This makes for some useful comparisons.
Table 1a2: Estimated Material Quantities by Route by Year Tractor/Trailer
|Year||Lorry Route||Heather Bales||Minimum Tractor Deliveries||Minimum Tractor Days|
Heather Bales will by delivered by tractor/trailers with a capacity of 300 Bales per delivery. We’ve also been told there’s a maximum of 4 deliveries per route per day. It’s tempting to simply add that to the other numbers of daily deliveries, but the problem with that is that there are not that many deliveries of bales needed compared to the other infill materials. At maximum capacity, there would need to be 44 deliveries for the entire project, not per year, not per route, the whole bale of wax. If you were to spread those evenly by year by route that’s less than 3. I can’t conceive that 3 extra tractor trailers per YEAR would be noticeable on even the quietest routes. For our lesser case scenario, we run at ¾ full, and that ups the total deliveries to 58.
Table 1b2: Estimated Deliveries/Days by Route by Year and Comparison to %75 Capacity snapshot
|Year||Lorry Route||Minimum Tractor Deliveries||75% Capacity Tractor Deliveries||Minimum Tractor Days||75% Capacity Tractor Days|
Of course it’s not that evenly spread, as we see when we look at the data, but the Fritham and Ogdens routes would need 7 and 8 deliveries respectively for the whole project. It gets better than that, the number of bale deliveries coming by road routes might be nil:
|For the purposes of the assessment it has been assumed that the heather bales will be transported from outside the catchment via the four routes listed below, thereby assessing a worst case scenario in terms of potential effects. However, it is more than likely that the heather bales will be harvested from within the open forest areas near to the Latchmore Catchment and public roads will not be needed to transport them to the areas of the proposed works.|
Table 1c: Total Estimated Deliveries/Days over course of whole project by Route and Comparison to Worst Case snapshot (in combining Days for both Infill and Bale Delivery, overlap has been accounted for.)
|Lorry Route||Minimum Deliveries||Worst Case Deliveries||Minimum Days||Worst Case Days|
It is also important to note that some mitigation measures are already in the plan which include: The same drivers will be used, and will be made aware of the “possible pedestrians, cyclists and livestock in the carriageway”, there will be “speed restrictions for delivery vehicles;” – 15mph on the Forest gravel tracks, 5mph under the ordinary 20mph restriction under the byelaws, and “traffic management with radios on the Ogdens route” as well as term time restrictions for school run to local schools. For those concerned about the condition of their roads, there will be a survey of the local highway network before and after the restoration phase to identify and agree any remedial works reasonably attributable to the restoration activities. (Full list in ES Vol 3 Appendix 4.2 Construction Traffic Management Plan Section 5).
We hope that this analysis goes a little way to giving a realistic scale to the potential problems. Even if some may still want to scare monger, at least they should have more realistic numbers. But we don’t want fear, we want sensible and proportional discussion. And no, we don’t expect that this solves any remaining concerns – whether or not conditions are placed on the planning application to suggest further mitigation, there may still be work needed by both the Forestry Commission and local residents to accommodate each other fairly.