Drivers breaking quiet nights code

One night last week in London, MT saw first-hand that many deliveries were being carried out as they would during the day, with no attempt to reduce noise.

Operators need to focus on improving driver behaviour if night-time deliveries are to become a permanent way of working after the London Olympics.

“It was disappointing that some deliveries we observed didn’t seem to be happening with more rigour; I was expecting it to be observable that drivers were really taking care and trying to be quiet,” says Lisa Lavia, MD of the Noise Abatement Society, who accompanied MT. “Some of the drivers were actually shouting right below residents’ windows.”

Between 11pm and 3am on 7-8 August, MT visited several areas of London, including the West End, the City and Earls Court Road.

Chris Douglas, director of Transport & Travel Research, who also accompanied MT, says: “It was surprising that some of the drivers we saw clearly either hadn’t been briefed, or had been briefed but didn’t get it, because some of the measures they could have used to minimise noise are very straightforward. Just taking a little more time and not letting things fall into place, for example.”

Douglas and Lavia were involved with the 10 TfL-funded quiet delivery trials late last year, which led to the creation of the TfL Quiet Delivery Code of Practice (CoP), which has been widely publicised. Anyone considering night-time deliveries during the Games was advised to use it.

While there were some examples of good practice, Lavia says some of the noisier deliveries were from firms that had definitely seen the CoP.