A major plan has been unveiled to ensure freight deliveries in London are safer and more environmentally friendly.
Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London – both of whom launched the ambitious plan – will work alongside boroughs, businesses and the freight industry to change the way freight deliveries are made in the capital.
Action is required because, while freight transport is vital to the economy, movement of goods has increased by a fifth this decade. This brings its own dangers, including potential for collisions causing deaths and serious injuries, and an increase in pollution, at a time when the government is trying to decrease air toxicity.
London is heavily involved in Vision Zero, a necessity given how TfL’s research reveals heavy goods vehicles are involved in 63% of fatal collisions with cyclists and a quarter of those involving pedestrians.
This, despite the fact that these vehicles only make up 4% of the miles driven in London.
London is growing and as such, so will the number of freight deliveries, heightening these problems unless action is taken.
The Freight and Servicing Action sets out how the industry can meet freight and servicing needs while also reducing the number of lorries and vans entering central London by 10% during the morning peak by 2026.
As part of the plan, the Mayor and TfL will work with boroughs to coordinate control of freight movements on London’s roads; the use of water and rail will be encouraged too; while a HGV Safety Permit Scheme will be launched to make freight vehicles safer – this will incorporate the Direct Vision Standard for HGVs, with the first permits issued later this year.
The Mayor of London said: “Freight is essential for London’s economy but for our future health and prosperity we need to be smarter about how we manage the millions of van and lorry journeys each week.
“By creating a pan-London network of micro-distribution centres and rolling out innovative click and collect points at more Tube stations, we will enable more commuters to collect packages near their home – helping reduce congestion across our city.
“Together with the introduction of our world-leading Direct Vision Standard and supporting businesses to switch to electric vans and cargo bikes, we will make freight more efficient while also reducing road danger and cleaning up London’s toxic air.”