27/04/2022 - Permalink

Independent experts confirm carbon impact figures for Shrewsbury North West Relief Road

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

An independent expert review of Shropshire Council’s carbon management for the proposed Shrewsbury North West Relief Road has verified the council’s calculations on the impact of the project.

Academics at Birmingham University were commissioned to carry out a peer review of the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (NWRR) Carbon Management Report, which details the management of carbon surrounding the road project and how those figures have been calculated.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for physical infrastructure, explained:-

“The purpose of the peer review was to ensure credibility of the NWRR Carbon Management Report, and to examine the methodology used by our engineering partners WSP to provide an impartial evaluation of the carbon assessment.

“Shropshire Council has declared a climate emergency, and it falls upon us all to look at ways of reducing carbon emissions across all aspects of our business.

“It’s key that the NWRR proposals are opened up to this detailed scrutiny for carbon management.

“The result of the review shows that there is nothing hidden, that we are being transparent in the work we are doing around constructing the NWRR, and that the carbon management figures we are using are indeed accurate and correct.”

“We recognise the NWRR would generate additional carbon in construction, but we must also consider the much wider benefits from the scheme, such as freeing up road space in Shrewsbury to encourage more cycling and walking, and encourage people out of their cars.

“We have previously made changes to the proposals, which cut its carbon impact from construction by 31 per cent, which is equivalent to 22,200 tonnes of carbon.”

The review, lead by Dr Dexter Hunt, MEng (hons), PhD, FHEA, PGCERT, AMICE, lecturer in sustainable and underground construction at the School of Engineering, supported Shropshire Council’s figures, calculations and carbon management recommendations. For the peer review, click here.

In summary Dr Hunt said:-

“Carbon reporting, by its very nature, is very broad, so it was good to see that the scope of work has been clearly defined.

“This report has been appropriately put together with specific reference to a number of key relevant standards.

“Supporting documents are referenced throughout, and the conclusions and recommendations are coherent and helpful.”

Planning permission is expected to be determined later in 2022. If approved, the NWRR would remove local and regional east/west vehicle movements from Shrewsbury’s town centre and, in so doing, free up road space to encourage people out of cars in the town centre, and towards alternatives such as walking and cycling.

The completed outer ring road around Shrewsbury would add critical capacity to the existing A5 bypass, which currently sees high levels of congestion and journey time delays at peak periods, as well as reducing journey times and stopping many ‘rat run’ journeys through villages on back roads to the north of Shrewsbury.