A recent study carried out by leading professional services consultancy, WSP, has found that using a particular type of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) to carry bulk construction materials in London, can reduce CO2 emissions by 32% and the number of such lorries on our roads by up to 37%.

The study by WSP was initiated by Transport for London to look in to the potential for using articulated HGVs to carry bulk materials to building sites. Because these vehicles can carry greater loads, the construction industry can benefit from reduced costs while road users and the wider public will benefit from reduced congestion, improved safety and reduced emissions.

Not only has the study shown the potential reduction in emissions, but in using larger articulated tippers, the industry could potentially see a 37% reduction in vehicle numbers, reducing congestion and improving highway safety.

There is also the potential to reduce the cost per tonne for transport by 30% because while the larger vehicles carry more material, they don’t cost much more to operate than the rigid lorries generally used today.

Although rigid HGVs still dominate the bulk movement of construction materials in London, the construction industry is already seeing a growth in the use of articulated HGVs.

“One of the key issues that we are facing as a society is the quality of our air and at WSP we are constantly looking for ways to overcome these problems that will affect our future generations”, says Ian Brooker, Director of Logistics at WSP. “By educating those on the benefit of articulated vehicles and encouraging the use of these larger vehicles, the industry can positively contribute to reducing CO2 emissions during transportation.”

Although there are some industry concerns about the stability of articulated vehicles when tipping material and the presence of larger HGVs on the road, the study by WSP has been able to conclude that larger HGVs come at no greater risk, and that any risk of tipping over during unloading can be managed or avoided completely by using relatively new designs of vehicles.

“The benefits of using articulated vehicles far outweigh any actual or perceived safety concerns”, continues Ian Brooker. “HGVs currently still remain essential for the transportation of materials to and from construction sites, but if we can reduce these numbers by using larger, more appropriate vehicles, we can drive towards a reduction in emissions and improve the safety on our roads.”




For further information please contact Katie Brown on [email protected], 07899776923 


Notes to editors


WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.


With 7,800 talented people in the UK and more than 42,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high-profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Manchester Metrolink, M1 Smart Motorway, the re-development of London Bridge Station, and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network.