The Rail Freight Group has called on the Olympic Delivery Authority to increase rail deliveries and halve the number of road deliveries, to the Olympic construction site in Stratford, which it reckons would cut 800,000 truck movements from the area.
The group says that the ODA must be “proactive” in identifying rail-connected consolidation centres around the country and “insist” that suppliers use them.
“Although rail freight has carried a good proportion of bulk materials for the site, there appears to be no ODA policy on sustainability which requires suppliers of other materials, which can satisfactorily be carried by rail, to do so”, says the RFG.
A state-of-the-art logistics terminal has been built on site, but the RFG says that for the Olympics to gain the full sustainability benefit from it, the ODA and its delivery contractors must specify the use of rail-connected consolidation centres around the country to link with the terminal.
RFG chairman Tony Berkeley said: “The ODA appears to think that only bulk materials can effectively be transported by rail. Experience of the Heathrow Terminal 5, Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the Channel Tunnel construction projects has shown that many other building materials, including reinforcing bars, steel and precast concrete sections, to final fix products such as bathrooms, urinals, ironmongery, kitchens, can all be transported by rail in an efficient and cost effective manner.
“The rail freight industry is ready and willing to help, but it needs the ODA to be proactive; it must change its policy urgently if it is to avoid being labelled the ‘High Carbon Games’.