HS2 is planning to raise the bar when it comes to emissions by demanding all HGV vehicles working up and down the country on the network are powered by the cleanest available Euro VI engines with plans to extend the minimum standard for cars and vans in 2020.
Project leaders are sending a statement on tackling emission levels with the benchmark going beyond current standards set here in the UK. HS2 say it hopes to help improve public health outcomes and aims to encourage the UK construction industry to invest in cleaner technology.
Vehicle emission standards, denoted by the “Euro” categorisation, have been set and toughened over recent years and currently all newly-made combustion engine vehicles must comply with Euro VI, the most recent and strictest standard.
Currently only London sets any emissions standards at all for off-road machines. However, HS2 is insisting equipment used along the route’s entire length meets the EU Stage 3b standard, rising to less-polluting Stage 4 in 2020.
In the capital’s Congestion Charge Zone HS2 already demands its contractors comply with Stage 4, and will raise it to Stage 5 next year, staying one step ahead of the city’s own emissions standards.
HS2 Ltd’s director of environment, Peter Miller, said the organisation was hoping its new rules would influence local authorities along the route to follow HS2’s lead and introduce exacting emissions standards in their area.
“HS2 is more than a railway. We are leading the industry in vehicle emission standards by exceeding London’s construction industry standards and extending them 345 miles across the country,” he added. “We are determined to use the project’s scale and duration to help cut the release of harmful combustion engine emissions by stipulating contractors building Britain’s new high speed rail network use the cleanest vehicles and machinery available. 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.”