6 Monitoring

6.1 Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to set out ‘the measures that are to be taken to monitor the significant environmental effects of the implementation of the plan or programme’, as required by SEA Act. It is not the purpose of this chapter to identify detailed project level monitoring — that would be established as part of the project level consents process including the EIA and AA.

6.2 Purpose of Monitoring Environmental Effects

Monitoring has a clear role in informing the development of the STPR. It is a requirement of the SEA legislation that the significant environmental effects of the STPR be monitored, both to identify any unforeseen adverse effects at an early stage and to allow appropriate remedial action to be undertaken. Logically, the process of monitoring must be linked to the various stages in the implementation of the STPR and the impacts of monitoring must affect how these stages proceed.

For the purpose of this SEA, monitoring has been based on the strategic mitigation commitments set out in the ER and refined in Section 5 of this document. The mitigation objectives and principles will run throughout the implementation of the STPR. Periodic monitoring will examine whether the mitigation measures have been, for example:

  • Incorporated into the initial design of the scheme and encompassed within the EIA for the purpose of gaining consent.
  • Translated into contract documents and incorporated into detailed designs.
  • Used to monitor performance during construction and, where necessary, following the opening or implementation of the intervention.

The indicators listed in Table 6.1 provide a general checklist of issues which would be covered in monitoring. These indicators will be added to or adapted as required. It is also recognised that as the scheme develops some mitigation measures may not be applicable or indeed, other measures may be identified.

Table 6.1 Monitoring Indicators

SEA Category

Proposed Indicators

Biodiversity, Flora and Fauna

Significance of effects on:

  • Natura Sites
  • RAMSAR Sites
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • Other designated habitats
  • National Parks
  • European Protected Species
  • General biodiversity in proximity of interventions

Human Health and Population

Significance of effects on:

  • Local people and receptors as a result of changes in noise levels, local air quality
  • Population as a result of changes in access

Noise

Significance of effects on:

  • Local population centres
  • Designated Habitats
  • Other habitats and sensitive environmental sites

Water

Significance of effects on:

  • Drainage
  • Surface Waters
  • Groundwater
  • Flood Risk

Geology and Soils

Significance of effects on:

  • Geological designations (SSSIs and Regionally Important Geological Sites, RIGS)
  • Geofluvial resources and processes.
  • Agricultural land
  • Potentially contaminated land, i.e. mobilisation of contaminated sediments

Cultural Heritage

Significance of effects on:

  • Scheduled Ancient Monuments
  • Listed Buildings
  • Conservation Areas
  • Gardens and Designed Landscapes (Inventory and non-Inventory)
  • Other designated sites
  • Marine archaeology
  • Known and previously unknown archaeology

Material Assets

Significance of effects on:

  • Land use activities including private property, businesses, including agriculture
  • Amount of waste generated
  • Amount of secondary and recycled aggregates used in construction

Landscape

Significance of effects on:

  • Gardens and Designed Landscapes (Inventory and non-Inventory)
  • Areas of Great Landscape Value
  • Areas of Outstanding Landscape Value
  • National Parks
  • National Scenic Areas
  • Visual amenity of local receptors

Air Quality

Significance of effects on:

  • Local air quality
  • Air Quality Management Areas and links to the Transport Noise Action plan
  • Greenhouse Gas emissions (if possible).
  • Use of Renewable power sources for electrified rail services (if possible)

6.3 Issues in Monitoring the STPR

The process of monitoring the STPR is complicated by the long term, incremental nature of the STPR’s delivery as a whole. An overall programme of delivery has not been defined, as future actions are dependant in Spending Reviews and other factors. It is not practicable, consequently to state which interventions might be delivered in which order and what the cumulative impact would be at any intermediate point.

The interventions proposed are, irrespective of their overall programme of delivery, likely to contribute to a step change in the functional characteristics of many parts of the strategic road and rail networks. They will improve the performance of the strategic rail and road networks and accommodate wider changes in mode shift (by improving rail capacity, for instance) and operational effectiveness (by improving journey time reliability, for example).

Many interventions are substantial undertakings in their own right and collectively, they represent an enormous investment in the future of the country’s strategic transport system. As such, it is natural that the delivery of STPR interventions will occupy a significant period beyond our current investment programme.

The interventions recommended in the STPR are appropriate for consideration over a prolonged period. It is not expected that significant changes to the recommendations outlined will be forthcoming in the short to medium term. It is recognised, however, that the process of monitoring the STPR’s outcomes must allow for refinement and update as we measure progress to wards the objectives defined.

We must recognise that the interventions emerging from the STPR will be delivered in an evolving context and part of the role of monitoring will lie in ensuring that the detail supporting the delivery of the interventions remains current against this changing background. The cyclical updating of the National Planning Framework (NPF) may, for instance, coincide with the monitoring periods for STPR. Equally, the completion of significant projects, such as the Forth Replacement Crossing, may in itself, drive some aspects of monitoring and evaluation, as they change the baseline against which future performance is measured.

Consequently, it is proposed that the monitoring and evaluation of the delivery of the interventions in the STPR will, to an extent, be driven by wider policy considerations, including the periodic refinement of strategies such as the National Planning Framework or the National Transport Strategy. It will be necessary to ensure that the STPR continues to support these, and the Scottish Government’s Purpose.

6.4 Process of Monitoring the STPR

The key elements of monitoring would be as follows:

  • Establish a programme for monitoring based on the main phases of project. The main phases will include, but are not limited to:
    • EIA and initial scheme design prepared for planning/ parliamentary consent
    • Confirm mitigation proposals
    • Detailed design
    • Construction
    • Operation
  • Undertake monitoring within each key phases in order to:
    • Examine whether mitigation commitments set out in the Strategy are being implemented
    • Identify the effects on the key environmental indicators (as set out in Table 6.1)
    • Identify the need for changes to the design or to introduce specific mitigation measures to avoid, reduce or offset adverse impacts.
  • Reporting - a monitoring report would be prepared at each key stage of the Strategy’s implementation.
  • Consultation Authorities — the monitoring report would be made available to consultation authorities (SNH, SEPA and Historic Scotland) in order that they can include them in suitable databases or information registers.

Monitoring would typically be undertaken by Transport Scotland, or by a consultant or agency on their behalf.