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TfL report finds disappointing take-up of £3.2M storage depot

Just six projects have signed up to a £3.2M off site materials storage centre aimed taking freight traffic offLondon’s roads since it opened in 2005, according to a report published today.

The 5,000m2 initially served four Bovis Stanhope jobs when it first opened, but has since only worked two more projects. These are Bovis’Aldermanbury Squareoffice development and Stanhope’sWillisBuildingatLime Street.

The London Construction Consolidation Centre was established as a part of a two-year pilot study by Transport forLondon(TfL).

The depot inSouth Bermondsey, southLondon, is a holding centre for construction materials for projects in the centre of the capital.

Run by logistics firm Wilson James in partnership with contractor Bovis Lend Lease and developer Stanhope, the centre aims to cut construction waste and lorry journeys in the capital by taking bulk order deliveries for city centre projects. It then sends them to site on a just-in-time basis.

But a TfL-commissioned report published today by best practise body Constructing Excellence states that there has been an unexpectedly poor take-up of the facility by projects in the capital during its first 15 months.

Wilson James managing director Gary Sullivan said the level of take-up was disappointing because it had been hoped at least four extra projects would use during the pilot scheme.

He added that theSouth Bermondseydepot was capable of holding materials for at least 12 40,000m2 developments at any one time.

“Bovis deserves credit for taking leadership on this but I would have thought that some of the other major contractors and clients would have seen it as an opportunity to improve their businesses,” said Sullivan.

The report identifies the main barriers to using the centre as lack of understanding of its financial and environmental benefits, and the fragmentation of the industry’s supply chain.

Sullivan agreed with these findings, but said he hoped take-up would improve once central London’s low-emmision zone is introduced in February next year, with every lorry being charged £200 each time it enters central London.

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