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Tracking delivery - how Guy’s Cancer Centre is getting the logistics treatment



There have been many challenges in designing and delivering a world class new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital in the heart of the capital.

For Andy Bush, Senior Construction Leader for contractors Laing O’Rourke, the central London location posed one of the greatest. 

Judging how to get construction vehicles to arrive on site at the time they’re needed can be difficult at the best of times. Arrive early and they have to drive around until they can be received, or else park somewhere, usually inappropriate, to wait. Neither option was acceptable at Guy’s where the site of the new Cancer Centre is doubly challenging: not only is the historic hospital at the heart of a busy neighborhood, with narrow streets with definitely nowhere to park large trucks, but one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe – the redevelopment of London Bridge Station – was underway just around the corner. How could construction materials be delivered here safely and on time without causing many months of disruption to local residents and businesses?


The answer has been to find a dedicated holding area and manage the movement of trucks meticulously. Discussions with Transport for London and Southwark Council considered several different options but finally a facility was found at Surrey Quays three miles away and the operation began in March 2013. It’s been working out well.

Andy Bush says, “On average over the last 12 months we have received more than 500 deliveries a month, peaking in October and November last year at over 750. Without the ability to hold and manage the trucks outside Southwark you can imagine the problems and disruption that would have been caused.

“Contractors working on the site have to book all their deliveries in onto our computerised ‘juggler’ system which is managed by our own logistics manager Jon Holder. No deliveries will be accepted on site if they haven’t been booked in and agreed with him. Deliveries go to the holding area approximately 45 minutes before being due on site. They book in with our traffic marshals who are in radio contact with the site team, and they can then call in the vehicles knowing that they can be received directly on site for unloading.             

“Keeping delivery vehicles out of the neighborhood as much as we can helps not only our project and all the others around London Bridge, but also other road users, including cyclists. The safety of cyclists is really important to us and last year we sponsored a ‘Trucks for Savvy Cyclists’ event here with Better Bankside and Southwark Council, when cyclists could sit inside a truck and experience the visibility from the cab for themselves. 

“It was particularly rewarding at our Logistics Group meeting to hear Ian Law commend the way the holding site is working. And we’re glad to say it will be used throughout the life of the project until April 2016.”

Find out more about the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital