Liberal Democrat London mayor hopeful Pidgeon backs rush-hour HGV ban

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon has called for a peak-time ban on HGVs in central London as part of a package of measures to reduce road freight movements in the capital.

If elected, Pidgeon wants to launch a new freight strategy for London that includes incentives for switching commercial deliveries to cargo bikes where appropriate, and encourages use of greener vehicles and the sharing of good practice across the industry.

She has lent her support to the recently passed London Assembly motion that called for a rush-hour ban on HGVs inside the congestion charging zone, subject to TfL’s impact assessment.

“We know that seven out of eight cycling fatalities in London this year involved collisions with lorries and that 40% of cycling fatalities involving lorries occur in the morning rush hour.

“Not only do HGVs tend to clog up the roads in central London, they are also dangerous for cyclists. Some form of peak time HGV ban, including construction traffic, could help ease congestion and make London’s roads safer,” Pidgeon said.

Making the switch to cargo bikes is also high on Pidgeon’s wish list, to try and mitigate the increase in van usage within the capital, which TfL predicts to rise by 22% between 2011 and 2030.

She said that research suggested 25% of commercial deliveries could be carried out by cargo bikes, which would help relieve freight traffic’s “considerable contribution” to London’s congestion challenge.

Consolidation centres would also play a larger role should Pidgeon be elected mayor, which she said played a successful part in the delivery of the London 2012 Olympics.

“The concept is that rather than everyone using their own vehicles to make deliveries to their final destinations in congested areas, a hub is created in a low congestion area where deliveries are brought to, before being redistributed or consolidated in a lower number of vehicles that then make the final part of the journey in a far more efficient way,” she said.

Pidgeon said consolidation centres have already been developed in some London boroughs since 2012, so “logistics know-how is being advanced”.

The consolidation centre at the Port of Tilbury could be used to increase the use of the River Thames for transporting freight, for example.

“We need to further develop and expand the use of consolidation centres so that it becomes far more comprehensive and includes a much larger proportion of light goods vehicle traffic,” Pidgeon added.