5 October 2021 - 08:11

Electric vehicles deployed on Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme

Electric vehicles deployed on Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme

(Press release Environment Agency:) London, 4 October 2021 - The Environment Agency and BAM Nuttall have introduced electric vehicles to carry out early flood defence work in Hebden Bridge and the wider Calder Valley, as part of the project’s ambition to cut carbon emissions.

The Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS), led and developed by the Environment Agency, aims to improve flood protection for approximately 400 properties and is vital to improving the town’s flood defence.

The range of electric vehicles being used include:

  • Electric cars – for site visits throughout Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley
  • Small electric vans – for engineers and supervisors to visit Hebden Bridge and other schemes within the Calder Valley
  • Large electric vans – to transport people around site and minimise traffic within the town
  • Large electric pick-ups – to replace transit van pick-ups to transport materials and people

Christian Merriman, Flood & Coastal Risk Management Advisor at the Environment Agency, said: ‘We’re already seeing the impacts of the climate emergency in the UK. The Environment Agency is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2030. To achieve this, we will need to cut our carbon emissions by 45%. This is a huge and important challenge to help mitigate the effects of climate change. The use of electric vehicles at Hebden Bridge is just one of the measures we have implemented to help achieve our target.

Our partnership with BAM Nuttall takes us one step closer to our goal and we will continue reducing our carbon emissions for wider projects.’

Steve Hamer, Contracts Manager at BAM Nuttall, said: ’BAM Nuttall is at the cutting edge of Electric Vehicle technology and is one of the leading civil engineering companies in this field. Here at Hebden Bridge, we’ve taken strong steps to make sure that our carbon footprint is as low as possible during construction by using various types of electric vehicles. Our vehicles also have bespoke messages to help promote sustainable solutions. Personally, and more importantly, I believe that this is the right thing to do to play our part in helping combat the climate crisis as much as we can. We’re also utilising Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil to run all our equipment on site, which reduces the use of fossil fuels, saving up to 95% of carbon emissions compared with normal fuel usage.’

Councillor Scott Patient at Calderdale Council said: ‘It’s fantastic to hear that the Environment Agency and contractors BAM Nuttall are using electric vehicles as part of the Hebden Bridge scheme. The Council declared a climate emergency in early 2019 and, since then, work has accelerated to minimise the impacts of the climate crisis and ecological breakdown whilst providing much needed resilience for our flood-prone communities. By working with our partners, Calderdale’s bold ambitions of being carbon neutral by 2038 or sooner can be achieved. We have also supported this by installing a network of on- and off-road charging infrastructure to help workers and visitors stay fully charged.’

Early flood defence works

A key element of the early flood defence work in Hebden Bridge includes a revamp of the Vale Centre site on Stubbing Holme Road, which will be used as a construction site compound to store materials and machinery.

Land adjacent to Trinity Street is currently being used to store materials and will continue into early 2022.

The work also involves repairing the dilapidated wall at the Vale Centre and construction of a canal overflow weir. This work is due to start in winter 2021 and aims to reduce flooding on the canal front upstream of the aqueduct in Hebden Bridge by discharging excess water into the River Calder.

A planning application will be submitted by the Environment Agency to Calderdale Council later this year, outlining the preferred location of the canal overflow weir – adjacent to the former Adult Learning Centre between Stubbing Holme Road and Hebble End.

Further work to deliver the fluvial and surface water elements of the scheme are forecast to commence in summer 2022 until 2025.

Other early work carried out by BAM Nuttall in preparation for the main Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) include ground investigations at a number of areas around Hebden Bridge, which assesses the suitability of the ground around the site for construction to take place; CCTV culvert surveys, which review and examine conditions inside a culvert using video monitoring systems to identify any issues; and minor in-channel works.

Find out more

For any questions about the Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme contact the project team by email: HebdenBridgeFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk or to receive regular updates about the scheme email ‘subscribe’ to the same address.

For the latest information and progress on Hebden Bridge FAS, please visit: https://eyeoncalderdale.com/hebden-bridge-flood-alleviation-scheme

Notes to editors

The Hebden Bridge FAS will consist of:-

  • Raising and strengthening river walls 
  • Using glass panels and raising barriers to minimise any intrusion on river views
  • Improving protection to riverside properties
  • Installing a canal overflow
  • Improving the drainage of surface water with a series of gully systems and pumping stations

Early works

  • The early works of the project can be viewed in further detail on Google Maps and will be kept updated with progress. Access the map here: Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme - Early Works – Google My Maps
  • The minor works include repointing and installation of flap valves and utility diversions in preparation for later installation of the raising flood barrier defences.
  • During significant storm/flood events, the additional water flowing into the Rochdale Canal exceeds the capacity of its available overflows. As a result, flooding occurs at low spots along the canal which affects canal front properties upstream of the aqueduct over the River Calder.
  • Planning submissions for the remainder of the Hebden Bridge FAS, including detailed design for the fluvial and surface water elements, is in progress and will be submitted in early 2022. The development of ground Investigation works to inform the surface water detailed design across the town is being conducted by BAM Nuttall and work is forecast to commence in September 2021.
  • A public information event was held via Zoom by the project team on Tuesday 10 August to allow the public to find out more information about the plans for the canal overflow.