Fusion (Joint Venture), EK (Joint Venture)
Civil Engineering
PAS 128 Utility Survey, Permit to Dig, Setting-Out


High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One will consist of around 140 miles of rail track and connect Euston Station, London to Birmingham. The first stage of the project will cost approximately £19.3 billion and is due to start operations in 2026.

Fusion JV (an amalgamation of the three construction companies, Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman) were awarded Area Central of HS2’s enabling works contracts. They are responsible for delivering preparatory ground works to some 100km of the phase 1 route before the commencement of major civil engineering activities.

Vision Survey has been chosen by Fusion JV to assist with the enabling works by delivering the following essential services.

PAS 128 Surveys

Vision’s utility department is currently undertaking PAS128 Utility surveys for a significant number of Land Access Areas (LAA) throughout (HS2) area central as instructed by Fusion.

The PAS128 Utility survey consists of two parts:

EML (Electro Magnetic Location) Survey

An EML survey will detect buried utility services via handheld receivers using Electromagnet and radio frequencies.

GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) Survey

This involves scanning the surface area with a transmitter/antenna, in this rural environment we use a quad bike system, which enables us to cover a significate amount of meterage per day and accommodate the rough terrain and changing ground conditions. Alternatively, for the more restricted/narrow area’s we will utilise a hand driven system.

By incorporating both these methods and adhering to the PAS128 specification the identification of the utility service is achieved through a combination of onsite interpretation, in-house post-processing of the GPR data, along with on-site reconnaissance and historical records.

Once the on-site survey is complete Vision will process the GPR data and incorporate this along with the EML data into an AutoCAD drawing, providing Fusion with a compliant utility service drawing.

Permit to Dig Control

Permit to Dig directly links to health and safety by avoiding service strikes by eliminating the risk of hitting buried services when excavating.

Using the information gathered through the PAS128 surveys we are able to define where specific underground services are located. This can be passed on to the excavation teams in the form of a “Permit to dig”. No digging can commence until it is signed off as safe to do so by Vision staff.

In the last year, we have issued over 1000 permits with no service strikes in a particularly busy and critical department.

Setting out of “Goalposts”

Vision’s engineering department are assisting Fusion with the site setup prior to fencing contractors erecting boundary fences.

The work entails setting out the traffic routes within each LAA starting from the defined entry point and around the field.

Where the traffic route goes under an overhead powerline Vision are installing GS6 “Goal Posts” to the defined height, which is dictated by the relevant service owner.

Should the traffic route go over a known buried service, Bog Mats are laid to protect the services.