Friday, April 3, 2009

'200 trucks a day' in central London during Crossrail

Lord Berkeley has called for Crossrail to reopen disused Royal Mail tunnels under London to shift spoil from the project and avert traffic chaos in the Capital.

He warned the present plan to dispose of spoil from massive station excavations by lorry threatened traffic gridlock as hundreds of trucks a day are expected to pass through London's busy West End.

Lord Berkeley, who is also chairman of the Rail Freight Group, said: "More than 200 truck movements a day will be needed to shift the spoil from the station excavations like Tottenham Court Road. This will create traffic chaos in London. 

He was speaking at the annual parliamentary reception of the Construction Product Association attended by senior politicians and members of the construction industry.


200 trucks a day in central London during Crossrail


He told "It makes much more sense to use the network of disused Royal Mail tunnels to convey the the tunnelling waste away below the streets of London. The old mail tunnels happen to run very close to the big station sites at Bond Street, Farringdon and Tottenham Court Road.

"It wouldn't take much extra tunnelling to link up the sites and then run converyors or small spoil trains along the former mail train tracks."

He added: "How do you put a price on the cost of running 200 lorries a day through the already congested streets of London."

It is understood the option to reopen the mail tunnels was considered by Crossrail but was rejected in favour of shifting muck by lorry.

Doug Oakervee, Crossrail chairman, is understood to be in favour of the plan to reduce traffic congestion but the rest of the project's board are understood to be against reopening the mail tunnels.

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