Transport for London (TfL), councils and operators are stepping up efforts to improve freight services in the face of ‘unprecedented’ demand.
TfL is now drawing up a long-term plan to manage freight and logistics and is working across sectors to improve the timing of deliveries outside of the peak hours 7am to 1pm, reroute vehicles and consolidate services.
The commitments follow a report from the Passenger Transport Executive Group, which called for freight to be moved off urban roads at ‘every opportunity’ and relocated around rail or water routes to improve safety and congestion.
TfL has said it will now widen the information available to operators, businesses, business groups, industry bodies and boroughs, offering postcode data on planned disruptions and a weekly ‘freight bulletin’.
Plans will also see an Olympic Games style approach to delivery management rolled out across London to ensure the city keeps function during TfL’s £4bn road modernisation plan.
London's transport commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, said: ‘From the shops on our high streets to the offices in the city, we all rely on freight and logistics to keep London thriving. The unprecedented growth and changing nature of London is placing increasing pressure on our road network. Never has the need to adapt been more pressing.
‘We must build on all the work we did together during the London 2012 Games to make further progress on retiming outside the busiest times, rerouting and consolidating deliveries. This will mean less congestion, improved road safety and reduced costs for the industry and businesses.’
Tim Slater, managing director of transport UK & Ireland at DHL, said: ‘By sharing best practice and innovative technologies, such as our new gas powered concept vehicle, retiming of deliveries to out of the peak can become a reality; ensuring reliability, easing congestion and improving road safety.’
Some £200bn of good are moved on London’s roads every year, with city-wide traffic jams worsening road safety, emissions and fuel costs for firms.