Flood Considerations for proposed Route E

Daniel Powell made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to East West Railway Company Limited

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Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear East West Railway Company Limited,

It was recently announced that ‘Route E’ (“Bedford Midland – south of St Neots/ Tempsford area – Cambourne – Cambridge”) was selected as the preferred route by East West Railway Company.

The exact route is yet to be announced however a section of Route E is proposed to diverge from the existing Bedford -> Kettering line, through the east side of Clapham and up torwards Woodlands Park. To keep within the constraints of allowing for the use of freight trains, the route is very likely planned to pass through the fields to the West of the A6, just North of where it joins the roundabout with Clapham Road as marked on the Potential Route Alignment Area for Route E on the link below.

https://eastwestrail-production.s3.eu-we...

Please provide any documentation that has considered the flooding in this area throughout the entire proposal for the line.

As examples this may include;

modelling of the effects of flood flow with the introduction of the line
estimation of costs for making good of track bed after flood events
consideration of knock-on effects both upstream and downstream

https://flood-map-for-planning.service.g...

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Powell

East West Rail Contact, East West Railway Company Limited

Thanks for getting in touch.

We try to deal with all enquiries quickly: usually within five working
days, though depending on the complexity of the question it may take a
little longer. We'll keep you up-to-date if that's the case.

Kind regards,

East West Rail Team

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East West Railway Company Limited is a company registered in England and
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London SW1P 4DR. Company registration number: 11072935.

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East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

Dear Mr Powell,

Thank you for your message. We are in receipt of your email of 19/02/2021.
We are treating your message as a Freedom of Information request. The
Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations
oblige us to respond to requests for information within 20 working days of
the day we received your message, but we aim to respond to all enquiries
as quickly as we can.

Please do not hesitate contact us if you have any other questions in the
meantime.  

Kind regards,
East West Rail Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

Dear Mr Powell,

Thank you for your interest in East West Rail and for your Freedom of
Information request received on 19 February 2021, in relation to potential
flooding in the area just north of Bedford.

A high level assessment of flood risk has been undertaken for the proposed
alignment option in the Preferred Route Option area. The assessment
considered the Environment Agency's existing flood modelling up to the 1
in 1,000 year (0.1% Annual Exceedance Probability, AEP) event. In this
area, according to the modelling data available, the proposed alignment
option does not encroach on the 1 in 1,000 year flood extent. Furthermore,
the vertical alignment (level) of the track is anticipated to be driven by
factors other than flood levels in this area. Once a preferred route
alignment is identified, a more detailed assessment of flood risk will be
undertaken to evaluate the potential impacts both of, and on, the railway,
and options for any required mitigation measures will be identified.

We hope this information is helpful but if you have any further questions,
please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,
EWR Co Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear East West Rail team,

Thanks for your response. I had initially requested the documentation of these assessments - please can these be provided?

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Powell

East West Rail Contact, East West Railway Company Limited

Thanks for getting in touch.

We try to deal with all enquiries quickly: usually within five working
days, though depending on the complexity of the question it may take a
little longer. We'll keep you up-to-date if that's the case.

Kind regards,

East West Rail Team

This message is private and confidential. If you have received it in
error, please notify us and remove it from your system. Unauthorised use,
disclosure, copying or distribution is prohibited. Neither East West
Railway Company Limited nor the sender accepts any responsibility for
malware and it is the recipient’s responsibility to check this e-mail and
any attachments accordingly. For more information on how we process
personal data please see our [1]Personal Information Charter.

East West Railway Company Limited is a company registered in England and
Wales. Registered office: Great Minster House 3/13, 33 Horseferry Road,
London SW1P 4DR. Company registration number: 11072935.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is
confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others
authorized to receive it. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby
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relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and
may be unlawful.

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Dear East West Railway Company Limited,

Thanks for your response. I had initially requested the documentation of these assessments - please can these be provided? If there is no response to this I will need to request an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Powell

East West Rail Contact, East West Railway Company Limited

Thanks for getting in touch.

 

We try to deal with all enquiries quickly: usually within five working
days, though depending on the complexity of the question it may take a
little longer. We'll keep you up-to-date if that's the case.

 

Kind regards,

 

East West Rail Team

This message is private and confidential. If you have received it in
error, please notify us and remove it from your system. Unauthorised use,
disclosure, copying or distribution is prohibited. Neither East West
Railway Company Limited nor the sender accepts any responsibility for
malware and it is the recipient’s responsibility to check this e-mail and
any attachments accordingly. For more information on how we process
personal data please see our [1]Personal Information Charter.

East West Railway Company Limited is a company registered in England and
Wales. Registered office: Great Minster House 3/13, 33 Horseferry Road,
London SW1P 4DR. Company registration number: 11072935.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is
confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others
authorized to receive it. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby
notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking action in
relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and
may be unlawful.

This email has been scanned for viruses and malware, and may have been
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East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

Dear Mr Powell,

Thank you for your reply. At present, EWR Co assume that the River Great
Ouse floodplain in this area would be crossed by a raised viaduct for all
Route Alignment options. It has not been necessary to undertake a detailed
flood risk assessment to inform the choice of alignment.

The [1]published consultation materials include the Technical Report
describing the development of the alignments, the long plots for the
alignments showing the vertical profile and interactive maps for the
different areas, where the flood zones can be viewed.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled and wish to
request a review of our decision, please write to FOI Review, East West
Railway Company Limited, Great Minster House 3/13 33 Horseferry Road,
London, England, SW1P 4DR or by email at [2][email address].

Your request for a review must be submitted within 40 working days of
receipt of this letter.   If, following an internal review, you are still
not satisfied, you also have the right to apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

We hope this is helpful and in line with what you are looking for.

Kind regards,
EWR Co Team 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear East West Rail team,

Thanks for your response. Route E is confirmed and a raised viaduct across the flood plain is in place for each choice of alignment. I'm sure EWR are aware that despite the rail line being on viaducts does not diminish the structural changes in foundations and the displacement of soil.

Please note the quotes from the recent technical report and consultation documents;

"This alignment has a shorter crossing of the River Great Ouse flood plain and routes via St Neots South Option B and then via the A428, therefore lowering flood risk"
"The balancing pond to the north of The Great Ouse Way would need to be relocated.""
"An assumption that viaducts would be required to mitigate known areas of floodplain risk in advance of detailed flood risk assessments"
"The further north the alignment is, the less the impact on the river and its floodplain, albeit a marginal difference"

And from your previous response;

A high level assessment of flood risk has been undertaken for the proposed alignment option in the Preferred Route Option area.

This means that EWR has considered the effects of flood risk in the area and if done correctly would have documented so. As per the original request I have asked for this documentation to be provided including the high level assessment of flood risk and modelling.

Thanks,

East West Rail Contact, East West Railway Company Limited

Thank you for your email.

 

If your email is a response to the 2021 non-statutory consultation, it
will be recorded and analysed alongside all responses to consultation. A
summary of consultation responses will be published in a report when the
Government announces the decisions made on the matters we are consulting
on.

 

If your enquiry is about the works on the line between Bicester and
Bletchley please contact the East West Rail Alliance, who are delivering
these works, on 03457 114141.

 

If you are a journalist and have an enquiry please contact:
[email address].

 

We try to deal with all enquiries quickly, usually within 10 working days,
though it may take longer if we need to ask several colleagues for
information. We'll keep you up-to-date if that's the case.

 

Kind regards,

 

EWR Co Team

This message is private and confidential. If you have received it in
error, please notify us and remove it from your system. Unauthorised use,
disclosure, copying or distribution is prohibited. Neither East West
Railway Company Limited nor the sender accepts any responsibility for
malware and it is the recipient’s responsibility to check this e-mail and
any attachments accordingly. For more information on how we process
personal data please see our [1]Personal Information Charter.

East West Railway Company Limited is a company registered in England and
Wales. Registered office: Great Minster House 3/13, 33 Horseferry Road,
London SW1P 4DR. Company registration number: 11072935.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is
confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others
authorized to receive it. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby
notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking action in
relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and
may be unlawful.

This email has been scanned for viruses and malware, and may have been
automatically archived by Mimecast Ltd, an innovator in Software as a
Service (SaaS) for business. Providing a safer and more useful place for
your human generated data. Specializing in; Security, archiving and
compliance. To find out more [2]Click Here.

References

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Dear East West Railway Company Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of East West Railway Company Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Flood Considerations for proposed Route E'.

I have requested specifically any documentation in the original request and have yet to receive any, this is now well overdue and extremely concerning considering the timeframe for current consultations.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Powell

East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

Dear Mr Powell,

Thank you for your email. We can confirm that your appeal for a Freedom of
Information request review has been escalated to the Head of External
Affairs. 

An internal review will now be undertaken by a Director and we will write
to you within 20 working days of the day we received your message.

We will be in touch with you soon and thank you for your patience.

Kind regards,
EWR Co Team 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Powell, 

Thank you for your reply. We have been in touch with our colleagues in the
environment team and as per our original correspondence with you we can
confirm that although a detailed flood risk assessment has not been
undertaken at this stage of the project to evaluate the impact of viaduct
piers and associated structures on flood risk upstream and downstream, a
high-level assessment has been undertaken. 

This assessment considered the proposed viaduct alignments against the
baseline case. This assessment concluded the following with regards to
flood risk: 

· All options offer a neutral score from a flood risk perspective 

· All options span the entire floodplain and have sufficient vertical
clearance over the Ouse. The change in pier locations may have minor
impacts to flooding but not something which can be quantified without
modelling

This high-level assessment is detailed in the attached “Flood risk input”
document.

As per our previous response, it should be noted that viaduct at this
location spans the extent of the 1 in 1,000 year flood (as shown in
Environment Agency mapping) and its length and height are determined by
factors other than flood risk.

Flood modelling of the Great Ouse at this location was not undertaken to
inform the options assessment that is detailed in the [1]Non-Statutory
Consultation documentation. However, it is currently being undertaken as
part of the next stage of the project to establish baseline flood
conditions, assess the impact of the viaduct on flooding upstream /
downstream and to identify appropriate mitigation. This information will
be made publicly available when the project goes to Statutory Consultation
as part of the DCO application.

We hope this information is helpful and in line with what you were looking
for. We will review how to provide more detail on this subject as we
continue to develop the railway.

Kind regards, 
EWR Co Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear East West Rail team,

Thanks for your response. Your document provided is simply route alignments layered on top of the current flood risk map. I was hoping there would be some documentation of planning, consideration or modelling as to the consequences of these alignments on the flood plain and upstream developments however from your response this doesn't seem to be the case. If this is not the case please respond with the documentation.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Powell

East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

Dear Mr Powell, 

Thank you for your patience while we compiled our response to you.

We can confirm an internal review of your Freedom of Information request
has now been undertaken by a Director who has confirmed that the original
decision is to be upheld.

Therefore, a further internal review by a different Director, who was
independent to the original decision, has also been undertaken (as would
be expected by the Information Commissioner for processing a
complaint). The results of this review also confirmed that the original
decision should be upheld.

Taking into account the circumstances at the time the original response
was requested, the information provided was appropriate to the stage the
project was in. In any event, further information to your original request
has since been shared with you. 

If, following this internal review, you are still not satisfied, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF. 

Kind regards, 
EWR Co Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

East West Rail team, East West Railway Company Limited

Dear Mr Powell,

Thank-you for your email and your continued interest in East West Rail. 

The mapping we have published reflects the early stage of design the
project is currently in, and provides a good overview of how different
options interact with areas of flood risk. 

As the design progresses, and once we have a preferred alignment, further
flood risk information, assessment and modelling will be undertaken. We
plan to publish this information alongside other environmental detail as
part of the next stage of consultation – the statutory consultation. An
outline of the development stages we will move through before we start
construction can be found [1]here. 

We hope the above information is helpful, but please let us know if you
have any further questions. We look forward to continuing our engagement
with you as the railway progresses into the next stages of design.  

Kind regards,
EWR Co Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir