Mike Brooke writing in the East London Advertiser reports that more than half the tonnage of materials being used to build London’s 2012 Olympics site is being transported by rail.
The Olympics Delivery Authority is beating its target for keeping construction materiel and associated supplies off the congested roads of East London. The target set out in the ODA’s Sustainable Development Strategy published in 2007 stated that 50 per cent of materials (by weight) would be transported by rail or water. The latest figures, however, show that the ODA is currently achieving 57 per cent of deliveries by weight over rail alone.
The ODA now has three fully operational logistics centres that allow thousands of daily deliveries to the Olympic Park to be managed as effectively as possible, with minimum impact upon the local environment and the community.
In addition to deliveries by rail and water, the ODA has established two off-site logistics centres in order to hold, screen and process vehicles, allocating them a specific time to make their deliveries to the Olympic Park to minimise road congestion.
The Barking Logistics Centre opened earlier this year, and manages all vehicles coming to the Olympic Park from the south and east. A second logistics centre in Chigwell, to be established on the M11, will manage vehicles travelling in from the north and west.
Water-borne despatch and delivery is still developing. Dredging begins in May of the nearby tributaries of the River Lea alongside the Olympics Park between Bow and Hackney Wick. These slowly silted up in past decades, but contractors hope that after Prescott Lock opens early this summer, 350-tonne barges will have access into the site.
The rail freight facilities within the Olympic Park currently manage the delivery and removal of thousands of tonnes of bulk aggregate products for concrete production, and fill material for the Olympic Park on a daily basis.
David Higgins, the ODA’s Chief Executive said:
We have set tough targets on sustainability that we are currently exceeding. To have 57 per cent of materials by weight delivered to site by sustainable means on a project of this scale is a real achievement. By switching road deliveries to rail, we have significantly reduced traffic and pollution on the roads around the Olympic Park. We are aware of the increased difficulty maintaining this record.
As construction moves from major structural work to the more detailed fit out phases, not only will the number of individual deliveries increase but also there will be a reduction in overall load weight thereby reducing rail’s comparative advantage.
As discussed earlier in this blog, once its contribution to the Olympics is over, Bow Midland Yard is destined for a future life as a major work site for Crossrail. Building Crossrail work entails moving the existing southernmost mainline track serving Liverpool Street station and the DLR tracks further south.