A plan for new trials of out-of-hours deliveries to businesses across London was announced last week as part of a wider package of works to deliver a freight legacy for London.
Presented at the London Freight Forum, the Delivering a road freight legacy document reported the outcome of the temporary night time delivery arrangements made by Transport for London (TfL), key partners and the freight industry during the London 2012 Games.
TfL say they are also looking for other changes in partnership with the industry during the next two years, such as revising street loading guidelines for planners and its longer-term freight plan.
Quiet Delivery Code of Practice agreed for the Games
On the assumption of increased road congestion ahead of last year's Olympic Games, TfL produced a Quiet Delivery Code of Practice for the Games for the period of London 2012. The code was developed by a team led by Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR) in partnership with the Freight Transport Association, Noise Abatement Society and TRL.
Now, with a background of concern about safety issues faced by vulnerable road users, The Mayor's Office and TfL are to work with London boroughs and the freight industry on trials to explore how more deliveries could take place outside of the busiest times of the day.
It is hoped this will reduce congestion and benefit other road users, as well as allowing for quicker and more efficient freight trips.
TfL say the trials form part of this wider package of works, which look to change the way goods and services are delivered, and were a key recommendation of the Mayor's Roads Task Force.
The trials will be used to determine the barriers that need to be overcome in order to roll out these measures more widely.
They will look to begin early in the New Year and TfL will work in partnership with the industry during the next two years to develop a wider, long term freight strategy in London.
The national cycle charity Cycle Touring Club have campaigned for traffic management measures, routing and distribution strategies (that) mitigate the impact of lorries on places where people cycle or want to cycle. These include banning lorries on busy streets at certain times of the day while permitting night-time deliveries instead; establishing distribution centres on the edge of urban areas where lorries can pass loads onto smaller vehicles for onward delivery; and carrying more freight by rail and water.
Night time deliveries a "stonking success"
According to TfL, during the London 2012 Olympic Games, many businesses were able to avoid disruption and conflict with other road users by changing the times of their deliveries.
This helped reduce congestion at busy times and allowed many operators to benefit by saving money.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "The out-of-hours deliveries during the London 2012 Games were another of those measures which initially raised eyebrows but in practice were a stonking success."
"Businesses benefited by saving money and congestion was reduced across the capital. It is exactly these sorts of innovative solutions we need to explore in order to ensure we balance the conflicting demand for space on London's roads and streets as our population continues to rise."
An out-of-hours consortium to be set up
A new "out-of-hours consortium" comprised of TfL, London boroughs, retailers, London Councils, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is to be formed to take the lead in delivering a review of out-of-hours operations.
It will also examine what legislative changes, as well as any vehicle modifications such as further noise reduction, would be required.
Surveys of High Street will also be commissioned to identify what restrictions there would be to changing delivery times at certain locations, as well as barriers, both financial and operational, that would need to be overcome by both businesses and delivery companies.
Jack Semple, Director of Policy at the Road Haulage Association (RHA) said: "The RHA is committed to working with TfL to address the challenges that lie behind the London Freight Plan."
James Hookham, The Freight Transport Association's Managing Director for Policy & Communications said: "The Mayor's aspirations for London will see major changes in the way logistics works in the capital over the next few years. In addition, the anticipated swell in the capital's population means that the industry will be under pressure to deliver more."
"Removing existing barriers to an efficient freight industry, such as night-time delivery curfews and loading restrictions, is a must if we are to continue to support, serve and sustain London's businesses."
Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety
TfL will continue to implement the recommendations from the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety research report, including the development of a common code of practice for managing work-related road risk for construction vehicles. This work will build on the work that TfL and the freight industry have carried out in recent years to ensure that all lorries who operate in London do so while protecting vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
On 4 September, Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond, Boris Johnson, and Sir Peter Hendy CBE, announced measures to improve cycle safety in London. These included the creation of a London-based industrial HGV task force which has been formed to raise awareness of safety requirements for vehicles and drivers and to take enforcement action against the minority of dangerous operators, vehicles and drivers.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson also announced he will ask Londoners for their views on whether he should use his powers to levy a substantial "safer lorry charge" on any HGV which is not fitted with basic safety equipment to protect cyclists. TfL will consult on this proposal, partly modelled on the successful low emission zone, before taking any decisions.
TfL manages the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS), which is a industry-led accreditation scheme that aims to transform freight delivery in London by encouraging freight companies in London to become safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly - www.fors-online.org.
TfL's Street loading guidelines for planners and freight plan
TfL also said it will be working to revise street loading guidelines for planners, helping to ensure that the needs of the freight industry, local businesses and local residents are all considered when streets are developed and redesigned.
These measures are expected to have an impact on TfL's longer-term freight plan, which will be consulted on with the freight industry.