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

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ONLY SIX projects have signed up to a £3.2M off-site materials storage centre aimed at taking freight traffic off London's roads since it opened in 2005, according to a report published today.

The 5,000m 2 facility initially served four Bovis Stanhope jobs when it opened, but has worked on just two more projects: Bovis' Aldermanbury Square office development and Stanhope's Willis Building on Lime Street.

The London Construction Consolidation Centre was established as a part of a twoyear pilot study by Transport for London (TfL).

The depot in South Bermondsey, south London, 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-intime basis.

But a TfL-commissioned report by best practise body Constructing Excellence says 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 at least four extra projects were expected to use facility during the pilot scheme.

He added that the South Bermondsey depot was capable of holding materials for at least 12 40,000m 2 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 a lack of understanding of its financial and environmental benefit and the fragmentation of the industry's supply chain.

Sullivan agreed with these findings, but hoped take-up would improve once central London's low-emmision zone is introduced in February 2008, with every lorry being charged £200 each time it enters central London.

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