London, like most big cities, is in a state of constant change with a myriad of construction projects taking place – these include commercial and residential properties and infrastructure projects and all require a steady supply of building materials.
London is also fortunate in having the river Thames as a ready-made transport route to bring one of the key raw materials, aggregates, right in to the city. One of the methods of obtaining the material is by using dredgers to scoop up the sand and gravel from the bed of the North Sea and English Channel.
By using these sea bed resources it reduces the need to cause disruption and damage caused by on-land gravel works and also keeps 1000s of lorries off the roads.
The main discharge point on the river is located in Charlton, south-east London, which is connected to both the road and rail networks to allow easy onward transport to various construction sites. This point is mainly serviced by the ships owned by Cemix, Hanson and Lafarge Tarmac but other ships call here and other jetties too.
A few more pictures can be seen here.