Dear Highways England,
I write with reference to the proposed Next plc Regional Distribution HGV Depot (subject of Epping Forest planning application ref: EPF/2503/19).

Further to the above and pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 please provide all information you hold relating to the following points.

1. Information to confirm Highways England have verified and accepted the developer's traffic modelling.
2. Based on the predicted traffic modelling please provide information relating to when and how often traffic queues will back up on the the all-lane running M25 carriageway (where no hard shoulder exists).
3. Previous correspondence has confirmed that Highways England requested the developer to carry out a safety audit - please provide all information relating to this including a copy of the safety audit.
5. Considering the proposed substantial increase in traffic at junction 26 relating to the Next development please provide any information from Highways England relating to safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
4. Please provide information to demonstrate that all development traffic is included in the model (including Phase 1 and Phase 2 uses and including Next plc third party delivery couriers such as Hermes).
5. With regard to the examination of the Epping Forest draft Local Plan please provide all information submitted to the council and / or inspector in relation to Highways England position on proposed developments impacting Junction 26 of the M25.

Yours faithfully,

Liam Lakes

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Ngobi, Diana, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Lakes

 

Thank you for your request for information relating to Developments
impacting M25-J26 / Waltham Abbey dated 28^th August 2020. I am dealing
with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

The due date for issuing a response is 28^th September 2020.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number FOI 101382 in any future
communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Diana

 

Diana Ngobi
Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | Surrey
| GU1 4LZ
Tel: +44 (0) 300 4701203 | Mobile: + 44 (0) 7711 187990
Web: [1]http://www.highways.gov.uk
GTN: 0300 470 1203

 

 

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Ngobi, Diana, Highways England Company Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Lakes

 

Please find attached our response to your recent information request.

 

Kind regards

Diana

 

Diana Ngobi
Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | Surrey
| GU1 4LZ
Tel: +44 (0) 300 4701203 | Mobile: + 44 (0) 7711 187990
Web: [1]http://www.highways.gov.uk
GTN: 0300 470 1203

 

 

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[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[3][Highways England request email]

 

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3. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Highways England,

Thank you for your reply. Generally, the information requested has not been provided and it would seem from your response that no further information is currently available. Please confirm my understanding of your reply and advise with regard to points 4 to 6 below.

1. Information to confirm Highways England have verified and accepted the developer's traffic modelling.

Information not held - response noted.

2. Based on the predicted traffic modelling please provide information relating to when and how often traffic queues will back up on the all-lane running M25 carriageway (where no hard shoulder exists).

Information not held - response noted.

3. Previous correspondence has confirmed that Highways England requested the developer to carry out a safety audit - please provide all information relating to this including a copy of the safety audit.

Information still under review process - response noted.

4. Considering the proposed substantial increase in traffic at junction 26 relating to the Next development please provide any information from Highways England relating to safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Your response states that “cyclists and pedestrians are not permitted to use the motorway Highways England do not hold any information relating to their safety in relation to this development”. However, the only footpath at this location crosses the M25 westbound off slip. Please confirm my understanding of your response that Highways England have not taken any account of safety of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the M25 slip roads.

5. Please provide information to demonstrate that all development traffic is included in the model (including Phase 1 and Phase 2 uses and including Next plc third party delivery couriers such as Hermes).

Your response has referred to the information available on the Epping Forest District Council website under the planning application reference EPF/2503/19. Following an exhaustive search of the documents published in that location the information appears to contain numerous conflicts or errors. For example:
* Phase 1 peak traffic (two-way trips) stated as AM (8-9): 10 HGVs + 10 vans and PM (17-18): 10 HGVs + 10 vans. [ref: para 2.2 of Vectos – Routing Management Plan July 2020 attached to latest HRA]
* Phase 1 peak traffic (two-way trips) previously stated as AM (8-9): 21 HGVs + 42 vans and PM (17-18): 20 HGVs + 23 vans. [ref: para 5.17 of Vectos – Transport Assessment October 2019]

The above is an example of inconsistent information and it is not currently possible to locate any document that states categorically full details of all development traffic or information on total average daily trips. In addition it is further noted that third party (e.g. courier delivery) traffic appears to be specifically excluded. Next use Hermes to make deliveries – see “Next has awarded Hermes a four-year contract extension to handle the delivery requirements for Next Directory until 2022.” [Ref: https://www.logisticsmanager.com/20238-n.... In addition, the following extracts are noted from the planning application:
“Next has estimated that there will be on average 8 visitors to the RSC on a typical day.” [ref: para 15 of Vectos Technical Note 9 V3 December 2019]
“NEXT itself does not use third party delivery drivers or vehicles ...” [ref: para 3.7 of Traffic Monitoring and Management Strategy (July 2020) attached to latest HRA]
“LGVs also deliver to customers’ homes as part of Next’s online fulfilment.” [ref: para 1.6 of Vectos – Routing Management Plan July 2020 attached to latest HRA]
“The commercial fleet uses Next employees and vehicles. There are no third parties.” [ref: para 3.4 of Vectos – Routing Management Plan July 2020 attached to latest HRA]
Considering the above inconsistencies and missing information please advise how Highways England have satisfied themselves that “all development traffic” is included and if Highways England are satisfied please confirm which document you have based your assessment on.

6. With regard to the examination of the Epping Forest draft Local Plan please provide all information submitted to the council and / or inspector in relation to Highways England position on proposed developments impacting Junction 26 of the M25.

Your response has referred to the information available on the Epping Forest District Council website under the Local Plan section. However, the Highways England response to question 1 to 3 above advise that the proposed changes to junction 26 have yet to be agreed. Conversely, the information included by EFDC under the Local Plan section states that the proposed junction 26 modifications have been explicitly agreed by Highways England as confirmed by the “Statement of Common Ground” dated May 2019 [ref: https://www.efdclocalplan.org/wp-content.... Considering your response to questions 1 to 3 above please clarify if the Local Plan Inspector or EFDC have been notified of the change of status of this issue under the “Statement of Common Ground”.

Please treat this as a request for an Internal Review.

Yours faithfully,

Liam Lakes

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
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Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lakes,

 

Please find attached the internal review ref. IR 101382 of your freedom of
information request ref. FOI 101382.

 

Kind Regards

 

Jonathan Drysdale

Freedom of Information Officer (HE)

Information & Technology

Highways England | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD

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[3][Highways England request email]

 

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3. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Mr Drysdale,
Thank you for your response of 29 October 2020. This generally clears up most of the questions with the main exception of Point 5. I note your response in Point 5 that you are unable to confirm if the traffic trips include third party traffic but you also state that the difference between the peak Phase 1 traffic trips is due to the latest HRA document being concerned only with Phase 1 whilst the October 2019 Transport Assessment included Phase 1 and 2. However, the data quoted previously in connection with the HRA and October document were both specifically limited to the Phase 1 numbers and exclude Phase 2. Either your response is incorrect or you are suggesting that the Phase 1 numbers vary when not in combination with Phase 2. Assuming you are suggesting that it is the latter scenario then please confirm that you have based your assessment on the lower trip numbers in the latest HRA document.

Yours sincerely,

Liam Lakes

FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Lakes,

Thank you for your e-mail of 29 October 2020.

The team have reviewed your follow-up question to Point 5 and provided the following response -

We have based our assessment on the trip data within the Transport Assessment dated October 2019. We have not done an independent review of the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), August 2020 for Next Plc and Trinity Hall or the Routing Management Plan, July 2020 that is contained within the HRA document on the Epping Forest District Council website and so cannot comment further on the figures within these documents.

We encourage you to direct any questions related to the figures within the Routing Management Plan, July 2020 to Epping Forest District Council.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this review 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

Jonathan Drysdale
Freedom of Information Officer (HE)
Information & Technology
Highways England | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD
Web: http://highwaysengland.co.uk

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