HS2’s designers have reduced the length of wall structures for the railway at Streethay from 1.6 kilometres to 420 metres, meaning 80% less concrete will be needed, supporting HS2’s ambition to cut carbon on the project. The railway will pass through Streethay in a cutting, and the shortening of the retaining structures also means the community will experience less noise and disruption during construction because fewer large machines will be needed on site.
The early proposed design was for the railway to cross over the A38 Rykneld Street, A38 southbound slip road, and the South Staffordshire train line. As a result of community feedback received during the public consultation, the design was changed in 2017, with HS2 now passing beneath these roads and the railway in a cutting, which greatly reduces the visual impact of HS2 in this area.
Most of the Streethay cutting will now have sloping earth banks, improving the visual appearance of the railway and increasing the opportunity for wildlife habitats and landscape planting to protect against noise from the railway. The updated design also results in a shorter diversion of Fulfen Wood watercourse. The changes will save around 70,000 cubic metres of concrete, the equivalent to 6,700 concrete mixer lorry loads. In total, around 420,000 tonnes of carbon has been saved in this area of the project.