River Freight

MQT on 2016-02-22
Session date: 
February 22, 2016
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What steps have you taken to promote the use of the river as a means of transporting materials and soil to developers involved in construction projects adjacent to the Thames?


Answer for River Freight

Answer for River Freight

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Maximising the amount of materials that are transported by the Thames is a key consideration in the assessment of new infrastructure projects adjacent to the river. Key achievements include:

       The use of barges for spoil and construction materials to build the recently opened Lee Tunnel.

       The use of river barges during the reconstruction of Blackfriars station.

Looking to the future, barges will be a key element in the following projects:

       600,000 tonnes of excavation waste generated by the Northern Line Extension project will be taken by river barge from Central London to Essex. This will remove approximately 60,000 HGV movements from London's roads.

       For the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, TfL and the GLA, together with the Port of London Authority and the affected London boroughs, negotiated with the Tideway project team an increase in the committed amount of the overall material to be carried on the river, resulting in a further 14,000 HGV movements removed from the highway network. TfL continues to work closely with the Tideway project team in seeking to increase the use of the river still further.

In addition to these approved projects, TfL is also developing the construction plan for the Silvertown Tunnel, and is committed to maximise use of the river for its construction in line with my policy.  As part of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application TfL will be including powers to use the existing berth at Thames Wharf and to construct a temporary pier at Silvertown to facilitate this. The DCO application will make the commitment that 100 per cent of suitable excavated material will be transported by river and that a minimum 50 per cent of all material to or from the site will be transported by river.

Finally, TfL has developed a new Construction Logistics programme. One element of this programme is to ensure more construction materials and waste is moved by water. TfL and the GLA are working closely with the Port of London Authority, Canal & River Trust, London Waterways Commission and other stakeholders to achieve this. The programme builds on the existing requirement for Construction Logistics Plans to reduce the impact of construction freight movements and will include a water freight planning tool.