Red Route price hike will unduly penalise those delivering goods into London

TfL’s plans to increase penalty charges for vehicles stopping illegally on London’s Red Routes will penalise freight operators and could drive up delivery costs across the capital.

The warning came from the FTA, which expressed “bitter disappointment” after TfL revealed its intention to increase Red Route PCNs from £130 to £160.

The RHA echoed TfL’s concern, condemning the move as a way of raising funds to pay for London mayor Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze.

The proposal, announced this week follows a TfL consultation on congestion charging and remains subject to a review by transport secretary Chris Grayling.

The FTA argued that the lack of loading bays in London means that many truck and van drivers have no choice but to park on Red Routes during deliveries.

Natalie Chapman, FTA London policy lead, said: “The plan to increase the penalty charges for Red Routes is ill-considered.

“The fact that there’s been an increase in repeat offenders suggests these vehicles are making multiple journeys into London and they could well be van and truck deliveries.”

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “It’s a punishment tax on motorists and goods vehicle operators. London is one of the world’s major business centres and tourist attractions – for the city to work it needs the goods moved by the road haulage industry.

“Current policies being promoted by the mayor are increasing congestion and attack motorised mobility of all types, including the essential movers of goods.”

Chapman added: “In many cases, there is simply nowhere for drivers to stop and deliver legally. It could also be that the operating hours of loading bays and red lines do not meet the needs of businesses or residents receiving deliveries and need to be changed.”

She called on TfL to increase the number and size of loading bays and extend loading times as alternative ways to ease congestion along London’s routes.

She added that the FTA is contacting transport secretary Chris Grayling to raise its “very serious concerns” about the increase.

“Without solid evidence to support these higher charges, they could prove pointless and may end up punishing all of London’s residents and workers, who will have to pay the increased cost of deliveries,” Chapman added.

A TfL spokeswoman told Freight in the City that TfL plans to raise Red Route PCN charges have yet to be reviewed by the transport secretary.

She added:  “Our stakeholder team has engaged with the freight industry during the consultation period and its views are being taken very seriously.”

Image: PA Images

Have your say on plans to make Lambeth Bridge and Waterloo safer for cyclists and pedestrians

TfL is calling for responses to plans to make London’s Lambeth Bridge and Waterloo more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

The plans, published yesterday (27 June), include the installation of segregated cycle lanes over Lambeth Bridge as well as two-stage facilities for cyclists turning right at crossroads and the ability for left-turning cyclists to bypass crossroads.

Proposals for Waterloo include the removal of roundabouts, the creation of a new public square by closing the south-west corner of the roundabout, the reinstatement of two-way traffic and the introduction of segregated cycle lanes around BFI Imax Waterloo (see image).

Waterloo roundabout and Lambeth Bridge northern roundabout are included in the 73 junctions in London with the worst safety record for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, according to TfL.

The plans come in the wake of mayor Sadiq Khan’s pledge last week to boost the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport from 64% journeys to 80% by 2041, as part of his draft Transport Strategy.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Our plans for Lambeth Bridge and Waterloo will make a real difference to these intimidating junctions.

“They will be completely transformed to make the areas safer and more pleasant to travel through, and will link cyclists up to our wider cycle network. It’s a great example of our work to improve London’s most dangerous junctions and create people-friendly streets across the city.”

Responses to the proposals for the Waterloo area can be placed via

Responses to Lambeth Bridge proposals can be posted via

FTA cautious over road tolling proposals for London

The FTA has given a guarded welcome to proposals from London mayor Sadiq Khan to consider road charging based on elements such as distance and vehicle emissions to replace measures such as the congestion charge.

Contained in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, the FTA said such a move could be positive for freight operators as long as it didn’t add cost.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London, said: “The congestion charge has played a role in suppressing traffic demand in central London, but the FTA has always argued it is a blunt tool that fails to recognise the essential role freight plays in serving London’s businesses, residents and visitors.

“New and emerging technology could play a pivotal part in providing a more sophisticated system that accounts for the essential role of the vehicle and the time of day and incentivises cleaner vehicles.”

Chapman added: “We need to ensure any changes to road charging promote more efficient use of the transport network, and are not simply taxes by another name adding cost to operating and living in London.”

The newly published Mayor’s Transport Strategy covers a wide range of issues including the controversial goal to reduce road freight volume by 10% by 2026.

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.


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

Councils need to stop scapegoating hauliers over the condition of local roads, says RHA

RHA has demanded that councils “get their act together” and stop scapegoating UK hauliers for road damage in a bid to cover up their own failure to maintain their roads infrastructure.

It follows a report from the Local Government Association (LGA) last week that claimed rising numbers of HGVs were pushing the state of the UK’s local roads “over the edge”.

Pointing to government figures that reveal HGV-transported goods rose 5% last year, the LGA warned motorists to “brace themselves” for a surge of potholes.

It said HGVs “exert massively more weight on road surfaces than cars, causing them to crumble far quicker” and warned that the rise in HGV numbers, combined with lack of funding, “could push our local roads network over the edge”.

However, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett hit back. “Many of our worst roads have little or no HGV traffic while many of the best are used by HGVs all the time.

“Local authorities have failed to maintain their infrastructure. Maintain roads properly and repair them after the installation of pipes and cables, and there will be little problem with pot-holes. Failure to do so will see problems multiply, along with the cost of repair and associated congestion,” he said.

He added: “Road hauliers move 85% of the UK economy, delivering food, clothing, houses and jobs. The roads are their main place of work and the industry is doing its job. We expect infrastructure providers, working with central government, to get their act together and do theirs”.

“Our lorries now are no more damaging to our roads than they have been for many years, in fact quite the opposite. However, the damage to vehicle suspensions and tyres as a result of poorly maintained roads costs the haulage operator thousands of pounds each year”.

Greater Manchester and Transport for the North invite operators to freight forum

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is inviting operators to come along to its second Logistics Forum on 7 March to address the challenges and opportunities for the freight sector across the region.

The event will bring together key speakers from TfGM and the freight sector, as well as three workshops in the afternoon focusing on: vehicles; urban deliveries; and consolidation.

Helen Smith, head of logistics, environment and active travel at TfGM, said: “It’s very important to us that the forum is a partnership between the public and private sectors, working together to identify challenges and put into practice solutions to support the environmental, social and economic ambitions of the city region.

“The March summit will focus on highways projects, consolidation, alternative fuels and the implications of a possible low-emission zone for freight in the region.”

She added that the afternoon workshops would consider ways to best support the forum’s activities and will help develop pilots and case studies for sustainable freight and logistics practices, “which are scalable and give tangible results”.

“It’s intended that the Forum is a channel for collaboration, consultation and sharing of best practice, and we hope that it will in time be recognised as a significant voice for the industry in Greater Manchester.”

Directly after the logistics forum, there will also be the opportunity to take part in a workshop run by Transport for the North (TfN), which aims to garner operator feedback for its Strategic Transport Plan (STP) under development.

TfN wants to enable an open discussion to ensure the needs of the freight and logistics sector are met by the STP proposals.

The events both take place on 7 March at Innside, 1 First Street, Manchester, M15 4RP.

TfGM’s forum will run from 09.30am to 2.30pm (including lunch), with the TfN workshop held from 2.30pm – 4.00pm at the same venue.

To find out more about the speakers and register, email:



Transport for West Midlands looks to keep road network ‘running at its maximum’


Birmingham needs to think radically if it is to reduce congestion, lower noise and improve air quality – without damaging the strength of the regional economy – according to Transport for West Midlands.

Speaking exclusively to, Laura Shoaf, MD of Transport for West Midlands, said: “Being at the centre of the road network and of the rail network gives us a competitive advantage in terms of attracting and retaining businesses, and freight plays a huge part in the regional economy.

“We have real air quality issues in the region, and we are mandated to address that,” she added. “The public have the expectation that they have a right to breath clean air.”

However, she added: “Businesses need roads to move freight to market. Moving non-essential road journeys off the road and providing well-priced, public transport alternatives will mean the network runs at its maximum.”

Shoaf is chairing a debate on ‘How to influence customers’ delivery expectations’ at Freight in the City Birmingham on 1 March and said that she would “certainly be interested” in hearing the views of the panellists when it comes to reducing the impact that final-mile deliveries have on congestion, noise and air quality.

She cited the use of electric-powered tricycles in trials in cities in Scandinavia as the kind of radical solutions required to address such challenges.

  • The Freight in the City Spring Summit takes place on 1 March at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham. It is free to attend, so make sure you reserve your place today.

Effective last-mile freight is vital to support growth, says Transport for West Midlands


Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has said applying “ingenuity” to the region’s transport system is essential to keep pace with surging business and population growth.

Speaking ahead of next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit in Birmingham, Mike Waters, head of policy and strategy at TfWM, said effective last-mile operations would play a vital role in this aim.

“As a dense urban area built on a legacy of manufacturing, which is regenerating into a new generation of advanced manufacturing and engineering, having effective last-mile freight solutions in place is becoming increasingly vital to the West Midlands,” he said.

As well as the region’s urban roads network needing to support a complex existing supply chain that drives a major proportion of UK export GDP, Waters added it was also essential to meet the needs of a growing residential population.

Indeed, the West Midlands has forecast significant urban population growth over the next few decades that will add the equivalent of a city the size of Liverpool to the region.

“At the same time we are the centre of the UK’s automotive R&D activity and inventing and exporting solutions to the rest of the globe,” Waters said.

“Our challenge is simple – we must apply the engineering ingenuity we are exporting to our own transport system in order improve the efficiency of both.”

The West Midlands Freight Strategy document has been published, and contains action plans to promote more sustainable logistics movements to support economic growth across the region.

Martin Reeves, chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority and Coventry City Council, will be speaking about work to improve the region’s transport system at Freight in the City Spring Summit on 1 March at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

This free-to-attend event brings together key decision-makes from the public and private sector to debate the challenges and solutions to adopting cleaner, safer and more efficient urban freight movements. Book your free place today!



UK cities face food and drink “logistics crisis”

London and other major UK cities face a looming food and drink “logistics crisis” unless operators and planning authorities take steps to address the problems facing the delivery sector, according to a new report commissioned by the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA).

‘Feeding London 2030’ warns that, if not addressed now, the issues raised could even lead to a shortage of essential food supplies on the shelves of grocery retailers and at other food outlets.

UKWA chief executive Peter Ward said: “What we have today is not sustainable. The last time bread disappeared from the shelves was during the tanker drivers’ strike [in 2000] and then we were not far from anarchy.”

London in particular is facing significant population growth, from its present 9 million to a predicted 11 million by 2050, putting increasing pressure on the logistics industry to deliver essential supplies.

“Things are becoming stretched across London’s food and drink supply chains and current logistics thinking is no longer fit for purpose,” warned Andrew Morgan, a director of research firm Global 78 and the report’s lead author.

“Supplying food and drink that is both safe and delivered on time to London’s retail and food service outlets at an appropriate cost will become increasingly difficult unless steps are taken to address the issues highlighted in the report. At the moment we are managing, but it is difficult to see how it can carry on – especially if we are to meet the mayor’s policies on congestion and air quality.”

  • ‘Feeding London 2030’ is available from UKWA price £790 for non-UKWA members and £395 for members.