TfL mulls London Lorry Standard in response to Mayor’s Transport Strategy

TfL is exploring whether a combined London Lorry Standard could meet the mayor’s goals around the environment and vulnerable road-user safety, while making it easier for hauliers to comply.

Contained within the Mayor’s Transport Strategy for London, the single standard appears to be an attempt to unify the recent proliferation of standards for the capital such as the Safer Lorry Scheme, incoming Direct Vision Standard and tightening of emissions requirements to meet the ULEZ.

A TfL spokesman told Freight in the City: “The draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy has made his vision for a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city clear.

“There are a wide range of policies and proposals that recognise the important role the freight industry has in both achieving this vision and the continued sustainable growth of London.

“To support this, TfL is exploring how a combined London Lorry Standard could reduce both the environmental and safety impacts of deliveries in London, so we can bring up the standards of vehicles while making it easier for operators to comply,” he said.

The spokesman added that TfL will also explore how it can work with other UK cities to widen the uptake of any new standard.

The transport strategy contains a host of policy points affecting road transport, including an ambition to reduce freight in central London by 10% – based on current levels – during the next decade.

Road freight levels to be cut by 10% under London mayor Sadiq Khan’s strategy

London mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed plans to reduce road freight levels by 10% in the next decade as part of his Transport Strategy for the city.

Released this week (21 June), the strategy is under consultation until 2 October and covers a range of areas from public transport, missions, congestion and street design to housing.

It also puts green public transport, walking, and cycling at the heart of its vision, describing London’s streets as too congested and dangerous at present.

“London most become a city where walking, cycling and green public transport become the most appealing choice,”Khan said in the foreword.

While the document acknowledges the effect and necessity of reducing car use in the capital, consistent with initiatives such as the forthcoming Direct Vision Standard it singles out unacceptable road danger caused by the “dominance of large, heavy, potentially dangerous vehicles”.

While acknowledging the importance of road freight, and even stating that reductions in congestion could improve the transport of “essential freight”, hauliers will face further curbs.

Despite the city being forecast to increase from 8.7 million people to 10.5 million in the next few decades, Khan wants a 10% reduction in freight traffic – truck and van – in central London during the morning peak by 2026 (based on the current volume).

By 2020 he also wants a 5% reduction in construction traffic within the capital too, largely by either retiming servicing activity, avoiding journeys all together, and through the use of more consolidation centres around outer London.

These, coupled with ‘micro-distribution’ centres in inner and central London where deliveries are made with low or zero emission vehicles or cargo bikes – as well as more use of river and rail – are seen as key to achieving this reduction.

“The success of London’s transport system in the future relies on the city becoming a place where people choose to walk and cycle,” said Khan.

The FTA described the target of a 10% reduction in freight traffic as unrealistic, given the needs of London’s growing population.

Its head of policy for London Natalie Chapman added that the mayor’s agenda on demanding HGVs change shape to increase direct vision – a change which may cost load space, thus requiring more vehicles on London’s roads – would also make this a hard goal to reach.

“It costs so much to deliver into London that the road freight industry is already highly load efficient.

“There may be some benefits from further consolidation we can gain, but these will be outweighed by the needs of London’s larger population. The real gains in traffic management will come from private car use – if car users can be enabled or encouraged to switch to public transport, cycling or walking then London’s transport network could become exponentially more efficient,” said Chapman.

The mayor has also outlined an ambition for a zero-emission zone in central London by 2025, ahead of the ULEZ coming into force from 2019.


  • Expansion of cycle hire scheme
  • Commitment to comprehensive cycle routes
  • Reduction in general London road traffic of 10% to 15% by 2041
  • Greater use of off-peak deliveries
  • The Direct Vision Standard and a similar standard for London buses
  • Work with large employers to redirect employees’ personal deliveries to consolidation points instead
  • Consolidation of waste and recycling via Commercial Waste Zones or Business Improvement Districts
  • London Lorry Standard to “simplify the regulatory environment for HGVs operating in London”
  • Opposition to third runway at Heathrow

Swedish out-of-hours delivery trial removes HGVs from rush-hour

A freight trial in the Swedish city of Stockholm has identified both business and environmental benefits from the use of out-of-hours delivery patterns.

The Off Peak City Distribution trial, led by Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, saw two trucks receive an exemption to the current night-time delivery ban in place from 10pm to 6am in Stockholm.

Researchers wanted to see if lifting the ban would drive operational efficiency for hauliers and businesses receiving their goods, as well as congestion-busting and air quality benefits from removing freight vehicles from rush-hour.

The trial

Volvo supplied a parallel hybrid (diesel-electric) FE model fitted with a geofencing device that enabled the truck to switch to quiet, clean electric operation within urban areas.

This was used for dedicated deliveries for supermarket Lidl, travelling 30km between its warehouse in Roserberg and three city centre stores in Stockholm.

A second HGV, a biogas-fuelled Scania R480 (pictured below), was used to transport consolidated goods for Swedish foodservice supplier Martin and Servera to a number of city centre hotels and restaurants.

Both were fitted with noise-reduction equipment, such as silent roll cages, and noise sensor technology.

Anna Pernestål Brenden, a researcher at KTH’s Integrated Transport Research Laboratory, said ordinarily the Lidl warehouse would deploy several fully-loaded trucks to make deliveries during peak morning rush hours between 6am and 8am, because it was too difficult for a single vehicle to make all the drops in such a short time window.

But in the study, a single truck delivered goods to three stores in central Stockholm between the prohibited hours of 10pm and 6am. It would return to the warehouse three times in the night to be reloaded, and then make its subsequent delivery.

Pernestål Brenden said. “That’s one truck doing the work of three, or in other words – morning commuters are spared having to share the road with three heavy duty trucks.”

The truck on the dedicated Lidl route was found to have a driving speed in off-peak around one-third faster than in the morning peak (31%).

Meanwhile, the Scania working to deliver to multiple city centre hotels and restaurants, was found to have a driving speed 59% higher than in the afternoon peak, as the routes could be planned more efficiently as they did not have to factor in congestion.

Enjoy the silence

On the noise pollution front, the trial wanted to examine whether deliveries were a nuisance to residents.
Drivers all had to follow special rules to ensure the quietest of night-time deliveries, such as no reversing alarms and no talking on mobile phones outside the vehicles.

“It turned out that the noise people complained about was caused mainly by unloading the truck, not driving,” Pernestål Brenden said.

KTH acoustics researchers created a sound recording system that placed microphones in the front and back of the truck.

The front microphones would record when the truck was getting unloaded, so that neighbourhood background noise could also be taken into account.

This allowed researchers to evaluate the mix of sound from both vehicle and environment and give a true picture of what difference the unloading of the vehicle actually made.

They found trucks unloading within city centre environments were not noticeable to residents, with only those in one quieter, outer suburb experiencing noise disruption.

Though it was a small scale study, KTH said there was a strong indication that scaling up off-peak deliveries could increase efficiency for businesses, reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and make a positive impact on traffic volume during peak hours.

Pernestål Brenden said: “By making small changes, we can improve transport efficiency, reduce congestion, and enable new business models for goods receivers.”


London businesses offered deliverBEST tool to make their deliveries more sustainable

A new online tool has been created to help London-based businesses make their deliveries more sustainable.

Cross River Partnership’s (CRP) deliverBEST website asks businesses to complete a quick survey, which then recommends delivery options relevant to their sector and location.

A team of CRP’s business engagement officers are then on hand to provide guidance on how to implement new delivery patterns, help build the business case for change and measure results.

The website is being piloted by CRP partners Better Bankside and Victoria Business Improvement District, with plans to roll this out further across the capital.


Freight vehicle restrictions proposed in Oxford Street transformation vision

Freight vehicles could be removed or time-restricted from London’s Oxford Street, as plans for a major revamp of one of the world’s busiest shopping destinations take shape.

TfL has opened a consultation this week into proposals to make Oxford Street area more pedestrian-friendly and tackle air quality and safety concerns from over-crowding.

This requires a “significant increase in the amount of space provided for pedestrians and a radical reduction in the amount of traffic using Oxford Street,” according to the consultation.

As an established retail and business hub, TfL said it is “extremely important” that businesses based on Oxford Street can receive deliveries and be serviced efficiently.

“At the same time we recognise the importance of ensuring that local residents are protected from excessive noise, pollution and congestion. Any proposals must ensure that freight and servicing vehicles are able to continue to access the Oxford Street district efficiently,” the consultation added.

At present, Oxford Street is open for freight deliveries at any time, with the majority being made between 22.00 and 10.00. Some businesses on Oxford Street already have arrangements in place to make or take deliveries via nearby side roads or to loading facilities at the rear.

Possible changes

However, if the current status quo is maintained, planners say it would “greatly limit” their ability to transform the area.

They say removing access for freight entirely would increase the scope for transformation; however they acknowledge this may have implications for businesses or traffic flow in neighbouring areas.

Restricting freight vehicles during the day-time is another option, with night-time access either to the full length of Oxford Street or to certain sections of it.

This option would give pedestrians more space, however would require businesses to re-time the receiving of their goods.

“We will continue to work with businesses to find new ways of improving the efficiency of deliveries and servicing, while reducing the impact of these journeys on those visiting, living or working in the Oxford Street district,” the consultation document said.

It added that successful consolidation schemes had already reduced freight and servicing journeys in both Regent Street and Bond Street,

If freight vehicles were banned from Oxford Street, planners would consider the potential for designated crossing points to enable vehicles to head north to south and vice versa.


TfL said air quality in Oxford Street is a “serious and pressing” issue, regularly exceeding legal limits, despite a boost in low-emissions buses and taxis and existing freight consolidation and re-timing work.

Road safety is also a “significant concern”, with around 60 collisions a year on Oxford Street resulting in personal injury.

Options for restricting or rerouting buses, taxis and cyclists are also included in the early proposals.

TfL is keen to hear industry views on the project and the consultation will be open until 18 June.


Local authorities should enforce the use of consolidation centres

Local authorities need to enforce the use of city consolidation centres and allow more night time deliveries into city centres if they are to create efficient supply chains, according to a report from JLL.

The More than the last mile report from the property and investment services firm examines how smarter logistics will help shape cities in the future.

It predicts rising demand for logistics facilities, as online retail and e-commerce continues to grow.

These facilities should include shared-user consolidation centres, transshipment facilities, where goods are transferred to environmentally friendly vehicles; centralised click and collect facilities, last mile fulfilment centres; and multi-storey buildings and underground warehouses, the report said.

The report argues that intelligent transport systems are still a distant possibility for most cities, better use of old technologies should be applied.

It calls for local authorities to promote the use of city consolidation centres and shared consolidation centres “through appropriate regulations and incentives”.

The report also says there is a “strong case” for lifting night-time restrictions on city deliveries to allow for increased night-time deliveries. This would make more effective use of the transport network at times when it has capacity.

The report warns against placing warehouses and logistics hubs too far out of city centres arguing this will drive up the distance from warehouse to customers and increase emissions.

JLL head of EMEA Industrial and logistics Guy Gueirard said a more holistic view needs to be adopted if cities are to create efficient supply chains.

“To understand the challenges of logistics in cities and the potential opportunities for change, we need to take a wider supply chain perspective that looks beyond cities,” he said.

Greater Manchester logistics forum focuses on sustainable deliveries

Sustainable urban freight movements were a key focus of the second Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) logistics forum, held last week.

More than 60 public and private sector industry stakeholders came together to discuss ways to improve freight flow and mitigate the impact of deliveries on the urban environment across Greater Manchester.

Opening the event, TfGM chief executive Jon Lamonte announced the publication of the region’s 2040 Transport Strategy.

“This is a long-term framework to improve transport across the city region, creating a cleaner, greener, more prosperous Greater Manchester,” he said.

Manchester had also finalised its Low-Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan to ensure the city region met EU environmental targets.

“These will ensure the continued economic growth of one of the UK’s foremost city regions does not come hand-in-hand with a rise in air pollution and carbon emissions,” said Lamonte.

Measures include:  exploring the feasibility of a clean air zone; increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points; supporting sustainability in the freight and logistics sector.

The TfGM 2040 Transport Strategy follows the publication of the first Greater Manchester Freight and Logistics strategy adopted in July 2016.

Delegates were told about major highways infrastructure proposed for the Greater Manchester region, and given an insight into the skills requirements and opportunities for logistics.

Better use of urban consolidation centres was discussed by Graham Stewart from Arup Consultancy, while Sam Clarke (pictured below), director at final-mile operator Gnewt Cargo, detailed his business model of using 100% electric vehicles in London.

“We need to educate our customers; the consumer is driving our service delivery, changing our business and bringing greater complexities to the delivery. We need to educate, and legislation is assisting with this,” he said.

Clarke added that planning of business space had opened up the ability to occupy disused areas like garage parking and underground train station areas.

Allowing re-use of disused spaces located within a short distance to the user has been critical in making electric deliveries possible, he said.

“Pollution is close to my heart, Manchester must take on electric final-mile solutions,” Clarke said.

TfGM senior manager told it was “fantastic to see the expertise and enthusiasm” from both the public and private sector during the panel session, and the workshop sessions which took place following the presentations.

“This gives us great confidence that we will be able to collaborate effectively with partners as we look to deliver our Freight and Logistics Strategy,” he added.

The next TfGM logistics forum is planned for the autumn. Register your interest at

RHA says Oxford zero emission zone is “unworkable”

A proposed zero emission zone that would see all petrol and diesel vehicles removed from Oxford city centre is “unworkable”, according to the RHA.

A £30,000 study into the feasibility of the zone was launched on 10 March. If successful, Oxford City Council said the scheme could be in place as early as 2020.

RHA regional operations manager for the West Midlands, Rhys Williams, told he was concerned the idea had not been properly thought through.

He said: “They spent millions on a flagship shopping centre and lured the likes of John Lewis. These stores need to be serviced. How do we get 26 pallets of freight [at a time] into them? They haven’t put any thought into the process.

“There’s an awful lot of consultation that needs to be had, and it concerns me, whether they’ll have it or whether they’ll just slap this diesel ban on immediately.”

Councillor John Tanner, Oxford City Council executive board member for a clean and green Oxford, said: “Air pollution has a significant impact on the health of residents and visitors to Oxford. Our vision is to create a city centre that people can live and work in without worrying about how vehicle emissions will impact on their health.”

Williams added that operating without diesel vehicles was not something the industry was opposed to, but it was not ready for it yet.

“It’s obviously a goal that we as an industry would love to see, but the technology just isn’t there at the moment. So what’s going to happen until we get there? We need to be real and sensible about it,” he said.

Geodis reduces freight journeys and emissions in Paris through Distripolis scheme

An urban delivery initiative deployed across Paris by French operator Geodis has reduced its freight journeys by 20% and CO2 by more than 1,000 tonnes a year.

Geodis sales director Kevin Huskie (pictured) told delegates at the Freight in the City Spring Summit that the Distripolis programme is designed to lessen the effect of freight deliveries on an urban environment.

It was developed in 2011 as a way for Geodis to lead by example in promoting more sustainable city deliveries.

As France’s largest logistics operator, with a 40% market share, Huskie said the company believed it had a responsibility to drive change and encourage more sustainable urban deliveries.

Before it implemented Distripolis, Geodis used multiple distribution centres on the outskirts of Paris for its key divisions, such as express parcels, groupage and reverse logistics operations. Each one would send multiple vehicles into the city centre throughout the day.

But with Distripolis, Geodis uses one main consolidation centre on the outskirts of Paris, with goods travelling during the night into smaller city centre ‘blue bases’ of less than 250m².

Own or subcontracted ultra-low-emission vehicles or power-assisted tricycles are used to make the final mile delivery from these inner-city bases.

The advantages to the urban community have been improved traffic flow, due to fewer trucks on the roads; reduced air and noise pollution; a more attractive city centre that still meets local businesses’ needs; and compliance with all local regulations, such as time-restricted deliveries.

Huskie said the initiative had “massively reduced road miles and made a big difference in Paris”.

“The target was to remove 1,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions. In year one, we achieved a 365-tonne reduction of CO2 and are now achieving more than 1,000 tonnes.”

Geodis wants to roll out Distripolis in Lille, Strasbourg and Marseille, and aims to reach every city in France.

However, because the UK marketplace is much more fragmented, Huskie believes collaboration is the key to achieving a similar effect here.

Earlier this year, Geodis announced an extension to its UK night-time deliveries initiative.