River freight for construction materials (2)

Meeting:

Mayor's Question Time

Date:

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Reference:

Question 2015/0876

Main question

Caroline Pidgeon

Will you consider mandating the use of the river for construction transport as a planning condition for developments on or near to the river?


Answer

The Mayor

The London Plan recognises the benefits of using the Thames and other navigable waterways for the transportation of goods and waste. In addition to major infrastructure projects, the Thames has recently been increasingly used to transport freight for construction sites.  This has been achieved through close liaison with planning applicants and with the imposition of planning conditions by boroughs to ensure developers understand the potential of the river.  The amount of construction, excavation and demolition waste removed from London by river increased seven-fold from 2009 to 2014, from 0.26 million tonnes p.a. to 1.98 million tonnes p.a., through the removal of excavated material from riverside residential developments such as Fulham Wharf.

My officers work closely with their colleagues in the Port of London Authority and local planning authorities to exploit the modal shift opportunities where developments are close to the Thames, other rivers and canals. Planning conditions need to be reasonable and take account of financial viability and operational constraints, including the availability of wharves and conditions on the river such as tidal access.

TfL is also working with the Canal and River Trust and PLA to develop online resources to promote waterborne freight and help developers, contractors and other planning authorities understand the possibilities for modal shift. Attracting more interest in waterborne freight will help improve investment and spread costs over a broader customer base, encourage new market entrants and improve competitiveness with road.