Better by Water – Promoting positive use of the River Thames

better by water scheldemond

Today Livett’s Group launched its “Better By Water” initiative with a striking image. At 7am in stunning London sunshine, the innovative work platforms of the Scheldemond I & II cruised under Tower Bridge, carrying vans sporting the phrase “Better By Water”.

The vans were transported up river past City Hall and the Tower of London to London Bridge, before turning around and returning to Butler’s Wharf Pier for the promotional event to continue throughout the day.

The purpose of the “Better By Water” campaign is to bring attention to the endless capabilities of using the River Thames for commercial activity, including moving freight, aggregates, and bulky or unusual loads. Many barges on the Thames are capable of carrying up to 1000 tonnes, while one HGV can carry 20 tonnes and a van can carry just 7 tonnes. With this in mind, one barge trip is able to replace approximately 50 HGV journeys or 140 van journeys.

In recent years there has been a marked increase in commercial use of the River. In the last five years use of the river has more than trebled, to over five million tonnes in 2014 (Port of London Authority figures), keeping more than 265,000 lorry trips off London’s congested roads. There is still considerable capacity to improve on this which could bring significant long term effects on road congestion in London, helping to accomplish:

– Reduced carbon emissions due to fewer journeys being made – air pollution is a constantly growing issue for those living and working in London

– A safer environment for cyclists – HGVs pose one of the biggest dangers to cyclists on London’s roads

– Lower cost logistics solutions for organisations required to transport heavy goods