Comment: Dealing with the ‘van-demic’

 

A ‘van-demic’ is sweeping across the country. Recent figures revealed a boom in online shopping has led to record levels of investment in vans and trucks, as British businesses expand their fleets to deal with increasing delivery demands.

In fact, the number of vans on the roads increased by 17% this year (FT£) thanks to a rise in online shopping. And with Black Friday nearing, there can be no doubt that the number of vans on the roads, delivering customers their discounted goods, will only increase further.

”Local
Are you ready for the vans?

Of course, this paints a positive picture of a strong and growing economy. Consultancy firm OC&C even forecast that the UK ecommerce market will rise to £61bn in 2018 – a 45% growth on last year. But with more delivery vans on the road, how do we deal with the impact this has on traffic congestion levels across the UK?

In our most recent Traffic Scorecard report, we found that levels of congestion rose in three quarters of the UK’s cities during 2014, with London drivers spending up to 96 hours sat in gridlock – 14 more than the year before.

We can attribute this rise to factors such as a stronger economy, a growing UK population and rising employment rates, all of which are driving up consumer spending. But as the economy strengthens further, online shopping booms, urban populations continue to grow and road demand increases, governments and transport authorities are going to need to look to long-term solutions, in addition to the building of new infrastructure, to tackle the ever-growing congestion problem.

We should, therefore, turn our attention to smart, data-led solutions. In the rise of the Internet of Things, Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be a quarter of a billion connected vehicles on the road. By gathering the billions of data points from these connected cars every day, we can start to build a more accurate picture of the situation on the roads, at any given time, and set about making the necessary remedial actions.

Having access to real-time information across a city’s infrastructure provides transport agencies and city planners with valuable information and insights into the situation on the roads at any given time. With an accurate picture of what is happening on the roads, governments and transport authorities are able to better manage traffic in the region.

In addition, by making this data available to drivers in real-time, they too have access to valuable information to make them aware of the traffic situation while on the road. Solutions, such as smart parking and providing drivers with real-time information about congestion hotspots via mobile apps or in-car dashboards, makes route planning easier and this too has positive consequences on congestion.

We can see this happening across some of the cities analysed in our Traffic Scorecard report. Those that installed real-time, data-led solutions, such as smart parking, over the past few years have actually seen a fall in the time drivers spent in traffic year-on-year. Whilst we cannot outright claim that such solutions caused this decrease, with the knowledge that up to 30% of traffic in congested urban areas is the result of drivers searching for parking, we can make an educated guess that such solutions contributed to the fall in congestion.

Therefore, if governments and transport authorities are going to tackle the congestion problem, in which this ‘van-demic’ plays a significant role, they need to be armed with accurate information into what is happening on the roads right now. Only by having access to this insight, in real-time, can the right remedial actions be taken and we avoid the risk of spending any further time wasted in gridlock.

Graham Bradley, Senior Director & UK Country Manager, INRIX

 

Also see

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Trading Standards Officer (Intellectual Property)

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 Per annum
Seeking to recruit highly motivated and experienced Trading Standards Officer’s to join our busy Business and Consumer Services team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Project Manager (LED Project)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
Seking a knowledgeable and engaging Project Manager to lead, shape and steer a professional engineering service.   Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Principal Planning Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£42,656 to £51,690
We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic Principal Planning Officer within our Development Management Team, based in Richmond.  Twickenham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Health and Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
The Successful candidate will hold BSc/MSc or Diploma in Environmental Health and be EHRB registered as an... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprentice

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,171 to £19,945
Are you a self-starter, have a willingness to learn and have a proactive approach? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Parking and Traffic Services

Redbridge London Borough Council
Up to £79,000 + benefits
Lead progress in parking Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Environmental Services Strategy and Change Officer

Brent Council
£42,684 - £45,585 p.a. inc.
You will be experienced and skilled at designing and delivering cultural change in a large complex organisation and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Project Director (Liveable Exeter Garden City)

Exeter City Council
Up to £75,000 per annum
Our goal is to make Exeter a leading sustainable city Exeter, Devon
Recuriter: Exeter City Council

Senior Engineer – Highways & Major Projects

Bedford Borough Council
£37,849 - £42,683 per annum
Candidates should be enthusiastic, keen to pass on knowledge to team members and must be both a dynamic member of a team and be... Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Highway Asset Engineer

Lambeth Council
£38,403 pa rising in annual increments to £41,466 pa incl LW
Lambeth is a vibrant place with a diverse population and an exciting cultural scene. Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Environmental Strategy Assistants - 5 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£18,795 - £19,171
As an Environmental Strategy Assistant you will provide accurate and concise information that can be used for management information purposes. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
Great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the opportunity to... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council