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How are we complying with noise and vibration limits during construction?

The project monitors construction noise throughout the duration of the works to ensure that it is within the limits specified in the  Code of Construction Practice (CoCP)

Our contractors use different methodologies for monitoring noise and vibration. This has been approved by the City of Edinburgh Council and is in accordance with the CoCP.
The reason for the different methodologies is that their works can be different in nature. The majority of the heavy works (breaking out the ground etc) is carried out by Morrison Utility Service and as such their methodology is to record data on noise and vibration from the different types of machinery used and systems of works, thus making the readings transferable across the route for similar types of works.  When new machinery or a new method of works commence further readings and data are collected to ensure that they are working within the limits stipulated.  Unannounced and regular audits are undertaken to ensure compliance.

The main infrastructure contractor, Sacyr Farrans Neopul, monitors construction noise at seven locations on the route. The locations were agreed in line with contract requirements prior to the start of works and were informed per the baseline studies conducted prior to the start of construction. These studies provided an understanding of the baseline noise and vibration climate across the route. The baseline noise and vibration surveys were undertaken by City of Edinburgh Council representatives, with the acceptance that seven identified locations were to be monitored for noise and vibration.  Noise and vibration units are monitored via a live system and produce a live data set, which is monitored, where a monitor is stationed continuously throughout the duration of the works.

In accordance with the Contractor’s contract in the event of non-compliance, the contractor will notify the City of Edinburgh Council immediately to review the workings methods to prevent re-occurrence. The contractor’s compliance with the CoCP is monitored by the City of Edinburgh Council and reported on a monthly basis.

You can view the Health & Safety monitoring dashboards at the end of each month.

Health & Safety monitoring dashboards

On our part, we try, whenever possible, to mitigate noise impact. E.g. if construction activity is deemed to exceed the agreed limits then additional noise mitigation will be implemented where possible and as required.

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Why is the project doing external surveys of all the buildings and internal surveys of listed buildings on the route?

The Council’s main contractor Sacyr Farrans Neopul (SFN) is required to carry out a record of condition on some properties adjacent to the route. 

The list of properties to be recorded has been agreed with the City of Edinburgh Council. The purpose of this is to record the existing condition of properties prior to the main work commencing and while we do not envisage any damage to properties resulting from the construction works, it is normal practice for a project of this nature that a means of identifying any issues is in place.  

The properties identified will be subject to an external inspection and copies of this will be made available to owners if requested. 

In the case of listed buildings, it is important that internal examinations of premises are carried out if access to the property is possible. There are 111 listed buildings on the route. The internal surveys will entail photographs of the internal structure and note taking of all the details that are necessary to ensure a robust survey of the building structure is carried out. All of the surveying staff will carry identification badges. 

A copy of the survey findings will be made available to owners if requested.

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How do I make a claim if I believe my property has been damaged as a result of the project?

You should contact providing 

  • Description of the incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Date of the incident
  • Any estimates or receipts for damage that you are claiming for
  • Photographic evidence
  • Any evidence available showing condition of property ahead of tram works commencing

Submission of a claim form does not mean an automatic compensation – any claimant must be able to prove that the loss or damage results directly as a result of the works.

While we will process any claim as quickly as possible, as each claim is different, our claim handler is not able to give a set timescale for processing them. They may also need to request more information if, for example, the documentation provided is incomplete and/or requires further clarification.

The trams project team will the information to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Insurance Services for processing through the project’s claims handlers. The Insurance Services team will be able to check on progress.

You can view our insurance claims process diagram (PDF). 

The claims handlers are:

Charles Taylor General, Adjusting Services Limited, The Centrum, 38 Queen Street, Glasgow G1 3DX

The claims handlers assess whether the project is legally liable based on information supplied by you and any other relevant information. The City of Edinburgh Council and project have no input into the decision and cannot influence it. This is to ensure that all claims are dealt with in a fair and reasonable way.

You will be notified in writing of the outcome by the claims handlers, for example:

  • The project is legally liable and an offer in settlement is included.
  • They need more information from witnesses.
  • They need more information from a council or project department.
  • The project is not legally liable and the reason will be included.

If you are not satisfied with the decision reached and are sure that all relevant information has been sent you may decide to seek independent legal advice.

If you appoint a solicitor the claims handlers will only deal with you through them.

  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your claim, and you are sure that all the relevant information has been submitted to the claims handlers, you can complain.
  • If your complaint is about the service provided by the claims handlers it should be addressed to the Branch Manager of Charles Taylor General 
  • If you disagree with the decision you may ask Charles Taylor General to explain it or seek your own independent legal advice.
  • If you are not satisfied with the way your claim has been handled you may contact the Insurance Manager of the City of Edinburgh Council.
  • Under the terms of the insurance cover, the City of Edinburgh Council or project cannot comment on or reverse any decision on liability.
  • If your complaint is about maladministration you should contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

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Why do certain works run over the project's normal working hours?

As we progress with the main infrastructure works, specifically the pouring of concrete for track works, there may be times when we have to work out with the project's operating hours.  

Once concrete works have started, we have to ensure that we complete the finishing works on the concrete before leaving the site.  There are other contributing factors that can impact on these works being completed such as the weather, traffic management to and from a site working area and supply of material. 

We will endeavour to notify as far in advance as possible, however, please note that due to the nature of this work it is unlikely that we will be able to provide the project's standard seven days out of hours working notification period. Where there are planned out-of-hours works the project will follow the standard notification period as stipulated in the Code of Construction Practice (CoCP).

Where possible, notification regarding such works will be communicated via the project’s Twitter account (@TramstoNewhaven).

As with all out-of-hours work, we will endeavour to cause minimal disruption and complete work as quickly as possible. 

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What are out of hours works?

There will be instances when works are required to take place outside the standard working hours of Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm and Saturday 8am - 1pm. These working times are stated in the project’s Code of Construction Practice which forms part of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Parliamentary Act of 2006.

The contractor applies to the City of Edinburgh Council to request out-of-hours working. This is assessed and either approved/rejected.  Given the volume of works taking place during standard working hours on tram infrastructure, carriageways and footpaths, there are times when it is safer to carry out specialist works out of hours.

In addition, in order to complete works as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to pedestrians, cyclists and the city road network, out-of-hours working may be approved. There may also be instances where emergency works are required.

In order to provide a safe working environment for colleagues, access to welfare units will be required during out-of-hours working.

It should be noted that emergency out-of-hours working may take place along the route that is not being undertaken by the Trams to Newhaven project.

During out-of-hours working all efforts will be made to keep noise to a minimum. If noisy work is required during out of hours, we will endeavour to have these completed by 11pm.

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What are overhead line equipment (OLE) works and how long do they take?

As part of our construction, there are works required to install the overline equipment needed for the trams. These are the overhead wires and supporting infrastructure that carry electricity to power the trams which can either consist of poles (similar to lampposts) or building fixings. 

The location of the OLE poles will either be within the central lane of the tram track or within footpaths along the route. This is similar to the existing tram network. OLE pole locations have been approved by the City of Edinburgh Council as part of the planning application for the tram stops. The locations of the poles have been designed in accordance with design codes and standards which includes the Edinburgh Street Design Guidance and have been coordinated with street lighting alignment and safety standards. Additionally, there will be a requirement to attach OLE building fixings to the exterior of buildings along the route.

We anticipate the duration of OLE works to take up to four weeks at any one location. 

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Will there be any further consultation with residents and businesses with respect to the final design?

The landscaping designs have been finalised, following the significant amount of consultation the project undertook in 2018 and 2019 with the community. The final layout has taken into account the feedback received and is a better reflection of the community's aspiration for the project. View the Final Designs (PDF) There will be further consultation on the design.

Additionally, the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) consultation has now ended. View the Traffic Regulation Order report (PDF).

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Does the project comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s requirements on the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)?

Yes, the project is fully compliant with the HSE’s RIDDOR. Since construction started, the project has not reported any RIDDOR incidences.

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Attenuation Pipes / Drainage System Works

As part of the works on the Trams to Newhaven Project, we are also carrying out upgrades on existing utility infrastructure to help future-proof this part of the city. One of these upgrades is to install attenuation pipes throughout the route to improve the surface water drainage infrastructure and upgrade the drainage network.

You can watch our vlog here where we talk with Project Manager Andrew Grubb of Turner & Townsend about the works.

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