With fabricated steel props and trusses, Northallerton-based structural fabrication specialists Allerton Steel appointed Collett to take on an ambitious delivery project to the construction site of Leicester Square Hotel.

The initial delivery schedule for the props to London was over a specific timescale at night, a week or two prior to the delivery of the trusses. For the trusses themselves, the initial schedule was one load per evening over a one-week period. This was eventually altered to two loads per evening over a three-day period to suit site delivery requirements.

Collett’s consulting team undertook initial route studies and swept path analysis reports, with several routes within the M25 London area analysed to identify the most suitable path for the loaded vehicles to take.

Speaking to FACTS, a spokesperson from Collett said: “With the delivery site in the heart of Leicester Square, we were faced with an extremely narrow access via Orange Street off Haymarket. As a result, we carried out detailed negotiations with the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Boroughs, London Underground, Network Rail and Canal & River Trust on our proposed routing within the London area so as to avoid any specific weight limits and restrictions for long vehicles.

“From our route studies and consultations, it was proposed that one particularly intricate area to navigate would be that in the vicinity of Victoria Station and Parliament Square; as a result we put forth the idea of using The Mall as an alternative.”

This required the team at Collett to approach The Royal Parks to apply for access to utilise the Mall through St James’s Park. This would see each of the six truss movements approaching from Buckingham Gate along the Mall before travelling through Admiralty Arch, allowing access to Trafalgar Square and onwards to their final destination. The application was approved and the move was cleared to go ahead.

The deliveries of the props from Middlesbrough to London took place over four consecutive days in January, with the trusses following shortly after in mid-February.

To comply with strict site operating time limits and curfews on the site in Leicester Square, the final delivery programme for the trusses required two loads over three consecutive evenings. The first delivery arrived at 21:00, with the second following two hours later.

Deliveries of the trusses from Colnbrook into London commenced on a Wednesday evening. On each occasion the 21.00 delivery was unloaded on arrival, with the empty vehicle departing site before 23.00. The 23.00 delivery would then arrive and wait on a closed-off section of Orange Street until 18.00 the following evening when unloading would take place. The empty vehicle would then leave the construction site after 19.00 so as to comply with Metropolitan Police restrictions within Central London. This process continued for three consecutive nights, with the loads on the Friday being delivered and unloaded on the same night to avoid any Saturday unloading and conflict with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.

Utilising three-axle rear steered flat trailers for the props and modular drawbar Scheuerle axle combinations, with a total of 54 axe lines for the trusses, this was a challenging project, especially considering the number of parties, authorities and approvals required in order to navigate the capital on 13 separate occasions with the lengthy cargoes.

After months of planning and liaising with all other invested parties, the team at Collett delivered the 13 cargoes directly to the construction site over a period of seven days. Undoubtedly a challenge given the rapidly changeable climate of Central London, the team at Collett demonstrated exemplary professionalism, carrying out the project to the highest standards whilst dealing with the volumes of west-end London traffic in an incredibly busy location.

For more information: www.collett.co.uk