A plan for new Olympic-style trials of out-of-hours deliveries to businesses across London has been announced as part of a wider package of works to deliver a freight legacy for London.
Unveiled at the London Freight Forum, the Delivering a Road Freight Legacy document outlines the successes delivered by Transport for London (TfL), key partners and the freight industry during the London 2012 Games, as well as a number of key actions that TfL will look to deliver in partnership with the industry during the next two years.
The Mayor’s Office and TfL will work with London boroughs and the freight industry on the trials which will 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.
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.
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.”
A new “Out-of-Hours Consortium” comprised of TfL, key boroughs, retailers, London Councils, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) will now be formed to take the lead in delivering a review of these out-of-hours operations, looking in particular at how they can be delivered more widely in the longer term without causing unnecessary disruption to residents.
It will also examine what legislative changes, as well as any vehicle modifications such as further noise reduction, would be required.
High Street surveys will also take place 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.
Sir Peter Hendy said: “These trials will benefit Londoners, businesses and the freight and logistics industry. It’s vital we harness the London 2012 Games legacy and maintain momentum while the details of the longer-term plans are developed.
“Although some of these issues will not be resolved overnight, by working together, we can build on recent successes and ensure that freight deliveries in London can be even safer, greener and more efficient in future.”
TfL will also 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 will help inform the development of TfL’s longer-term freight plan, which will be consulted on with the freight industry.
Further details about the Out-of-Hours Consortium will be published later this year. Electronic copies of 'Delivering a road freight legacy' can be found at www.tfl.gov.uk/freightlegacy.