A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade

Population and human health

PEI Report Chapter 13 : Click Here

PEI Report Figures : Click Here

Glossary and Abbreviations : Click Here

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This section summarises the preliminary assessment findings at this point in the EIA process for population and human health, based on PEI Report Chapter 13: Population and Human Health.

Baseline

The area surrounding the project varies from the urban settlement of Penrith at the western extents of the project, to being predominately rural in nature with large areas of agricultural land and sparsely distributed communities such as Temple Sowerby, Kirkby Thore and Warcop. There are multiple residential, community and business receptors within these communities, particularly within Kirkby Thore.

Penrith, at the western end of the project, is the main location for residential, community and business receptors along the length of the project. Key receptors include Center Parcs, British Gypsum, Cumbria Constabulary Police Headquarters, North West Ambulance Station, Helbeck Quarry, Hulands Quarry and the Ministry of Defence Training Establishment at Warcop.

There is an extensive PRoW network (including bridleways, footpaths, National Cycle Network) within the vicinity of the project. These routes serve a wide range of users, including horse-riders, pedestrians and cyclists providing connectivity between key communities and the North Pennines AONB.

The health and social characteristics of the population in the area surrounding the project are generally in line with or better than the national average in terms of social deprivation and health status. However, there are some areas of deprivation and poor health. Additionally, certain groups that are known to be more vulnerable to health effects are prevalent in some areas. This includes areas with a high proportion of older people, particularly in rural areas, people who are unemployed or on low incomes and people with existing health conditions or disabilities.

Construction

During construction, a number of residential, community and business receptors will be demolished and/or require land take to accommodate the project. A number of housing and employment land allocations will also be impacted as a result of the project due to land take.

Potential impacts on agriculture relate primarily to the loss of agricultural land and soils and the possible loss, severance and fragmentation of agricultural holdings. There are also possible impacts on walkers, cyclists and horse riders (WCH) due to temporary closures or diversions during construction.

The project will also bring both temporary and permanent effects on open space land (including Common Land and Country Park).

The design of the project has been developed to minimise residential, community, business and agricultural land take as far as reasonably practicable. Mitigation measures during construction will include temporary diversions and signage to limit the impacts of any temporary closures of PRoW and agricultural accesses. Access to businesses and residential properties will also be maintained and managed.

There will be a range of effects on environmental conditions caused by the project during construction that may impact on the health and wellbeing of local communities. This includes noise, visual effects and construction traffic. Those most likely to experience negative effects will include older people, children, people with existing poor health and/or disability and people on low incomes. There are likely to be temporary negative effects on wellbeing, including increased annoyance and reduced enjoyment of outside space. Those affected will include residents of impacted properties and people from the wider community who regularly use local footpaths and public spaces. Negative health effects may also be caused by severance and accessibility impacts due to the temporary closure of road lanes and pedestrian routes, affecting access to local services and community facilities, access to green space and opportunities for physical activity.

The construction phase may provide employment opportunities through the creation of direct construction jobs and increased demand for local suppliers and facilities such as shops and caf├ęs. This will have a potential positive effect on the physical and mental health of people in the study area, through improved earnings and opportunities for employment and training.

The EMP will set out the procedures to be followed to ensure that impacts from noise, dust, lighting and construction traffic are reduced as far as reasonably practicable, to minimise impacts on local communities. It will include specified working hours and construction traffic routes, and an appropriate induction to be given to ensure contractors act considerately in relation to local residents and businesses.

Preliminary construction assessment

  • Permanent adverse likely significant effects due to temporary and permanent land take of businesses, community facilities, open space
  • Permanent adverse likely significant effects on land allocated for housing or employment
  • Temporary and permanent adverse likely significant effects on community land and assets in close proximity to the project
  • Temporary and permanent adverse likely significant effects effect on multiple agricultural holdings due to extent of land take
  • Temporary adverse likely significant effects on the WCH due to PRoW diversions in the study area
  • Potential temporary negative health effects identified in relation to construction lighting and noise, and visual amenity
  • Potential negative health effects identified in relation to access of community facilities, shops and opportunities for physical activity

Operation

Once operational, the project is anticipated to bring beneficial effects in terms of overall accessibility and connectivity for the local community, businesses and for those visiting the area. The project will include new routes to maintain existing agricultural and business accesses and maintain and improve the connectivity of the local PRoW network. There will also be improvements to the safety of existing routes for WCH.

Operation of the project should not require any further land from residential or private properties, community land and assets as well as development land and businesses located within the study area. Changes to the local environment could occur, such as changes to the local noise environment or sense of tranquillity.

During the operation of the project the nearby population may be exposed to both increased and decreased levels of traffic noise at residential properties, schools, community facilities and open spaces. The presence of the new road infrastructure may also result in adverse visual and lighting impacts giving rise to negative effects on sleep disturbance and changes in neighbourhood amenity and the perceived quality of the local environment.

Potentially significant beneficial effects have been identified, resulting from decreases in NO2 concentrations at locations along the existing A66 where traffic is diverted on the new route further away from sensitive receptors. This may give rise to potential effects on health and wellbeing including positive effects on respiratory he

Improved traffic flows along the A66 as a result of the project will improve access to local services and facilities for the population along the route, reduce stress associated with traffic congestion and improve quality of life. This is likely to result in a positive health effect.

Preliminary operation assessment

  • Potentially beneficial significant effects associated with the establishment and improvement to the facilities provided for WCH including formal crossing points across the A66
  • Permanent beneficial likely significant effects for local communities, businesses, visitors and agricultural land holdings due to increased accessibility
  • Potential negative health effects identified in relation to increases in traffic noise and visual amenity.
  • Potential positive health effects identified in relation to transport and connectivity, community facilities and employment and economy.