River freight for construction materials (1)


Mayor's Question Time


Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Question 2015/0875

Main question

Caroline Pidgeon

How are you using your wide ranging powers to ensure developments on or near the Thames use the river to transport materials to and from the construction sites? For example, Port of Tilbury can provide consolidation for construction deliveries, removing many HGVs from London's roads.


The Mayor

The Thames has been used in a number of construction schemes including Crossrail, Thameslink and the Lee Tunnel. 5.5 million Tonnes of goods were carried between wharves on the Thames in 2014, a 5.7 per cent increase on the previous year. This equates to around 275,000 HGV movements per year.

The river will also be used in the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, Battersea Power Station and the Northern Line Extension. Thames Water's plans to use waterborne freight will help avoid 300,000 lorry journeys and will leave a legacy for London with new barges and an improved marine skills base.

Work is also underway to make more use of integrated consolidation and transport services. This would reduce the additional costs and time needed to move materials on and off the river, encouraging even greater use.

Access to the water is, of course, vital and is confirmed in the London Plan policy (Policy 7.2Bd) which requires development proposals close to navigable waterways to maximise water transport for bulk materials. Given this, I will continue to review safeguarded wharf designations to ensure the Thames can continue to move transport construction materials and waste.