Thames’ barges to boost Port of London vision
Eight new barges specifically built to carry spoil out of central London as the Thames Tideway Tunnel is excavated will eliminate thousands of lorry journeys from London’s roads, Bennett’s Barges managing director Chris Livett has said.
The Tideway class hopper barges, representing an investment by Bennett’s of “between £5m and £10m”, were delivered by Dutch barge builder and operator Baars, working with ACB. Four 1,500-tonne and two 1,000-tonne capacity barges are all owned by Bennett’s, while two 1,600-tonne barges have been hired for the duration of the Tideway project. Shallow-drafted and designed to work in constrained areas, the new barges can be pushed from either end or pulled.
Unveiling the 1,500-tonne capacity Pegasus at Butler’s Wharf, Mr Livett said that at least 150 lorry journeys will be saved for every barge load taken out by river from the Tideway project. The alternative, he said, could have seen Londoners “suffering intolerable road journeys by HGVs”.
“It is indicative of what the future Thames looks like — we are all working with the Port of London Authority on the Thames Vision, and the aim of transferring more freight by water.”
Once the tunnelling is complete, the barges will be a part of the Tideway legacy, he said.
“Look at what we have here; a four-lane highway with no bicycles, speed bumps or pedestrians. All of the major construction projects in London should be using the River Thames to ensure they are efficient, economical and environmentally friendly.”
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