Coombes social values

Being a caring neighbour

Over the last 5 years, Coombes has made significant efforts to be a caring neighbour and improve social performance in our representation with Network Rail, from the planning stage to delivery.

Planning of Works

On contract award we firstly assess each site of work, environmental makeup, surrounding neighbourhood/s and general community composition. We carefully evaluate Network Rails remit before considering the practical methodology of workscope delivery in the safest manner (considering Varley Report and RSSB’s Rail Sustainable Development Principles).

This information is used in our assessment of the lineside neighbourhood and wider community to build up a plan of delivering the work in the quickest manner possible, with minimal impact. We endeavour that our interaction at each stage will have a positive effect to lineside neighbours, rather than a negative one by the following process:

Planning Stage Considerations

  • Overall importance is placed on daytime working for both Safety and Social values
  • Is neighbour disruption reduced by quicker delivery, using more possessions
  • Is the site situated in a cutting/embankment, with lineside local farmers or other neighbourhood communities who would benefit from the timber
  • Can the specification be delivered during weekday operations without weekend working, or is there a large amount of timber to be extracted, requiring possessions?

Consultation Neighbours / Stakeholder Interaction / Planning of Works

  • Letter drops are carried out prior to works commencing – researching into local sensitivities, especially vulnerable residents
  • Host workshops with lineside neighbours and stakeholders – interaction recorded with outstanding actions acted upon
  • Neighbours requests feeding into planning stage of works
  • Close liaison with environmental agencies/Local Authorities to secure necessary consents
  • Ecology and Tree Officer input into planning/mitigation
  • Consultations with adjacent businesses to work sites – compensation for potential disruptions
  • A Neighbourhood Manager post is created to ensure close liaison with the lineside neighbours and businesses, local to our site of works

Engagement of Neighbouring Communities

  • Donation of firewood, woodchip to neighbours and our Biomass to Local Energy Producers providing renewable Heating & Electricity
  • Seek to employ local labour/apprentices
  • Sponsorship of local football teams/youth events
  • Support of local charities

Noise & the Environment

  • Use of battery-operated tools and machinery considered first, used wherever possible, reducing noise and emissions
  • Coordinate travel with minimal vehicles taken to site.
  • Avoid Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Limit site working hours between 0800-1700
  • Maintain a clean worksite with good on-site behaviour – no shouting or swearing etc
  • Ensure all plant and vehicles are switched off when not in use
  • Wheel wash system is installed at all our sites (where necessary) to reduce impact on nearby streets

Plant & On-Track Plant

Our fleet of RRV’s and Forestry Machinery are all purchased from new and run for a maximum of 5 years for greater efficiency, reliability and noise reduction

Lineside Neighbour/Network Rail Responses:

The following table shows a small sample of positive interaction with lineside neighbours:

Community Relations Tracker


Raised 39

Closed out 39


Raised 52

Closed out 52


Raised 29

Closed out 29

Environmental Services

We are committed to helping our clients operate responsibly and in line with all relevant legislation. We’re proud to offer a range of services that support environmental and ecological sustainability.

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To discuss your requirements, or to arrange a site visit, call us on 01730 231 761