Project aims/ background:
CEC undertook an environmental benefits assessment of this Park and Ride facility. This included a review of the landscape scheme, ecology and ecosystem services along with the key design considerations, including:
• an integrated SuDS scheme
• protection of trees and hedgerow wildlife corridors
• continued use of the site by protected species such as bats
• use of recycled materials in construction
• use of renewable energy
• creation of a facility that fits with the landscape and is attractive, comfortable, and easy to use.
CEC also carried out a passenger survey in August 2016.
What CEC did/ delivered:
The review concluded the landscape scheme had been successful but highlighted some management and maintenance issues. Ecological habitat surveys provided metrics for assessing the change in biodiversity value for protected species. Using the DEFRA biodiversity offsetting metric which looks at ecological value there was shown to be a sevenfold increase in value on the site, from 5.22 to 37.68 biodiversity units.
The ecosystem services assessment classified the land use change from agricultural land to woodland, semi-natural grassland and urban greenspace. The woodland and urban greenspace elements have high importance in delivering wild species diversity and regulating services along with delivering cultural and supporting services.
The reduction in CO2 from reduced vehicle journeys was calculated at being 317 tonnes per year with a financial value of £19,792 in carbon trading terms. Calculations confirmed that as the habitats on site develop, they will sequester a further 10 tonnes of carbon each year. This positive impact on air quality with the absorption of 0.07 tonnes of PM10 pollution each year has a corresponding annual financial value of £1,308, and health benefits for local people.
The passenger survey found that most people liked the Park and Ride site and found it relaxing. There was an overwhelming preference for the site design, which was led by landscape and ecology rather than engineering considerations. Most people were prepared to pay up to 20% more to use such a site
Outcome for client:
Further environmental growth opportunities were identified and other recommendations relating to site management and improvement were provided to the client.