London ‘more difficult’ for professional drivers to work in than five years ago

A staggering 96% of operators said that it is more difficult for their drivers to deliver in London now than it was five years ago.

Congestion; vulnerable road users and an overwhelming number of compliance schemes were cited as the main problems by respondents to a new survey.

The survey was conducted jointly by Freightinthecity.com and the FTA – ahead of the second Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace in London on 2 November.

Reasons given for why driving in the capital was harder now than five years ago included: “too much traffic”; “the restrictions on times and the sheer volume of traffic”; and “more traffic, cyclists, width restrictions, and other road users lack of knowledge of how big a turning circle a lorry needs”.

Those taking part in the survey could tick multiple options.

Nearly all respondents said congestion in the capital was a major issue, with 94% stating it was either the “most challenging” aspect or a “very challenging” aspect of delivering.

Over a third of respondents (35%) said that vulnerable road users were the “most challenging” aspect of delivering in London while some 52.9% said that is was a “very challenging” aspect.

Ignorance and attitude

One participant in the survey cited “the ignorance and attitude of cyclists, the redevelopment of road junctions [and] not being able to access parts of the city before 7am,” as reasons why working in London had become harder for professional drivers.

Some 41% of those surveyed said having “too many different compliance schemes” was the most challenging part of deliveries in London.

Another participant singled out “local councils who don’t like change when trying to re-time deliveries”.

PCN’s and the London Lorry Control Scheme were also singled out but not to the degree of other compliance schemes, vulnerable road users and congestion.

However, operators were split in regards the challenge of recruiting drivers to deliver in London during the past five years; with 20% claiming it to be the most challenging aspect of operating there, and 20% saying it was the least challenging.