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Online expressions of interest are flooding in daily from representatives at local authorities, freight operators, retailers and academic institutions looking to attend the one-day exhibition and seminar programme at London’s Alexandra Palace on 27 October.

A top line-up of vehicle manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Daf, Volvo, IsuzuIveco and Dennis Eagle will be showcasing their latest urban vehicle designs, while equipment makers such as Brigade Electronics, Tachodisc and Route Monkey will demonstrate how to enhance existing fleet operations.

Seminars will focus on highlighting best practice examples of getting goods into city centres in a clean, quiet and safe manner, with an impressive line-up of industry experts and academic leaders on hand to highlight successful initiatives taking place across Europe.

The expo is organised by Motor Transport publisher Road Transport Media, which last year hosted the successful Quiet Cities Global Summit at Twickenham Stadium.

Andy Salter, MD at Road Transport Media, said: “For all those involved in this sector, whether as a policy maker, consignor or commercial vehicle operator, it is essential everyone is aware of the implications and future requirements for urban logistics. Freight in the City is a forum to bring all the key stakeholders together to share ideas, information and solutions.”

Nottingham launches consultation on cycle superhighway infrastructure

Nottingham City Council has launched a consultation into a major infrastructure project that will see the creation of a new, segregated cycle superhighway to improve access into and through the city centre.

The Western Corridor is a new cycle route that will run from Colwick in the east to University Boulevard and beyond in the west. Existing cycle routes along the route will be upgraded, while the new cycle superhighway will be installed from Castle Boulevard through Abbey Bridge to Dunkirk, which the council said will be speedy, direct and segregated.

To fund the works, Nottingham secured £6.1m from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)  to invest in and kickstart an overhaul of the city’s cycle facilities. The funding is for two years from April 2015 through to March 2017.

Councillor Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for jobs, growth and transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “ The Western Corridor is the centrepiece of the proposals; improving access to and through the city centre, making it more likely that bikes will be chosen ahead of cars to complete short cross-city journeys.

“In the last five years the number of cycle journeys being made in Nottingham has increased by 31%. Our cycling ambition is to make cycling people’s preferred mode of transport.”

Businesses and residents located along the route are encouraged to take part in the consultation and look at proposed plans on an interactive map.

Image: Shutterstock

HGVs and vans could benefit from on-road electric charging infrastructure

Early adoption of wireless electric vehicle recharging within the freight sector is a key ingredient to the future roll-out of ‘charge-as-you-drive’ technology, according to a Highways England report.

The recommendation was made in a feasibility study carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) into the introduction of dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) technology on the strategic road network (SRN).

DWPT will enable long-distance travel for electric vehicles without the need to stop and boost batteries by using underground charging infrastructure installed along motorways and major trunk roads.

While current battery technology would enable DWPT to be applied to fully electric cars and vans, the research said that higher power requirements and longer distances travelled by HGVs meant a fully-electric lorry was not viable at present.

However, trials could focus on the benefits that hybrid technology would gain from wireless charging, soemthing that would benefit HGVs.

It was anticipated that a fully electric HGV would be a possibility in the future though, once high-power charging infrastructure was widely installed.

In its executive summary, TRL suggested it was important for DWPT infrastructure to be put in place as a starting point to stimulate uptake of electric vehicles, with haulage firms to be encouraged at an early stage.

“Focus on early adopters should be on commercial operators, with a particular emphasis on road haulage companies using vehicles between 12 tonnes and 32.5 tonnes, which regularly use particular stretches of the SRN,” the report recommended.

Commercial vehicle research within the DWPT feasibility study included responses from 10 national freight operators – both own-account and hire and reward – alongside the FTA, vehicle manufacturers and representatives from passenger transport bodies.

Survey results showed operators were encouraged by the potential of the technology; however they wanted to make sure adequate infrastructure was in place before making any purchasing decisions.

It was also important for them to see a swift return on investment on purchase or leasing costs. Ideally any additional costs should be offset by savings in operating costs between 18 months and three years.

Other concerns included range and size limitations; with many existing hybrid HGVs not being large enough or able to travel far enough; payload reduction; vehicle reliability and the need to ensure competitive whole-life costs.

Three selected operators chosen for in-depth interviews stated they would be willing to take part in future funded pilots of the technology on their fleets.

Opportunties to go electric

Rachel Dillon, climate change policy manager at the FTA, said current focus on electric vehicles for delivering goods was predominantly centred around urban operations, with the association helping to address issues such as payload restraints and high upfront costs of vehicles.

However, she added it was conceivable there could be opportunities in the future for long-distance electric freight vehicles, so welcomed Highways England’s research.

The focus on hybrid technology, rather than fully electric HGVs was also a sensible move, said Dillon.

“The most viable alternative fuel we think [for HGVs] is gas at this stage. But obviously there is a lot of momentum and interest in ultra low-emission vehicles at present, so it is right for Highways England to explore them. But at the end of the day, it’s about operators being able to make a business case for using these vehicles,” she said.

Highways England chief highways engineer Mike Wilson said: “The off road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country.”


Clean Air Better Business helps organisations slash emissions and save costs through freight management

Clean Air Better Business (CABB) has launched a practical toolkit to enable local authorities, businesses and freight operators to understand what measures they can take to reduce emissions from their freight activities in the capital.

Organisations are encouraged to assess and improve their impact on London’s air quality and develop their own delivery and servicing plans, which can reduce HGV movements, realise financial savings through consolidation of orders, and enhance road safety and air quality for all city users.

Access to a zero and low-emission supplier directory, free eco-driver training and information about existing schemes to slash emissions and improve supply chain efficiency are provided in the toolkits, alongside advice on how to incorporate actions into procurement policies.

Case studies highlight successful initiatives already explored through the CABB programme and the benefits gained. For example:

  • The Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles Business Improvement District consolidated its waste collection service for 200 businesses with a hybrid vehicle. This reduced waste collection trips by 60%, or 84,000 vehicle road km;
  • A joint procurement deal between the Natural History Museum and Science Museum for cleaning and waste services has slashed costs and reduced the number of vehicles coming to the site.
  • James McNaughton opted for an electric delivery vehicle to replace its existing diesel one, which resulted in estimated savings of £5,000 in fuel and 14 tonnes of CO2 per year.

CABB is a project run by the Cross River Partnership (CRP) – a public-private partnership that was originally formed to deliver cross-river infrastructure projects such as the Millennium Bridge, but has since diversified to deliver a range of externally-funded, multi-partner regeneration projects in the capital.

For further information contact CRP air quality champion: Uto Patrick

CIVITAS urban transport projects focus on clean fuels, reducing impact of freight and tackling city congestion

A series of sustainable urban transport studies will take place as part of the latest phase of the EU co-funded CIVITAS initiative.

CIVITAS – which takes its name from city, vitality and sustainability – was launched in 2002 to help shape transport measures and policies and create cleaner, more efficient transport in cities.

It has helped introduce measures to make urban transport more eco-friendly in more than 60 European metropolitan areas, dubbed ‘demonstration cities’.

Examples include a new traffic control system in Bologna, Italy and a waterborne goods operation in Bremen, Germany.

The EC has now called on CIVITAS to carry out projects in three key areas: transforming the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in urban areas; reducing the impacts and costs of urban freight; and tackling city congestion.

Around 40 million euros in co-funding has now been granted for 10 chosen projects, with four focusing directly on the urban freight sector. They are:

  • CITYLAB: will support cities and private companies developing new services and business models for improved sustainability and profitability of their logistic activities.
  • NOVELOG: will enable city logistics policy formulation and decision-making as part of the city’s sustainable urban mobility planning, and support implementation and adoption of appropriate measures.
  • SUCCESS: will improve knowledge and understanding of freight distribution and service trips for the construction sector and demonstrate impacts in terms of transport and environmental efficiency.
  • U-TURN: will identify opportunities for collaboration and innovative logistics sharing strategies and showcase their impact and results.

Further details about each scheme are expected to be announced shortly.

The latest phase of the CIVITAS initiative is scheduled to run until 2016, and more cities are encouraged to collaborate with their European counterparts by taking part in the scheme.

Birmingham City is the latest UK member to sign-up, joining 17 other UK local authorities and organisations already on-board with the scheme.

For more information about the projects or how to join the UK network, contact or call 01543 416416.


Industry experts and top academics to speak at Freight in the City Expo

Industry experts and top academics heading up successful urban logistics projects from across Europe will be speaking at the inaugural Freight in the City Expo this autumn.

Driving down harmful emissions will be the focus of seminars in the ‘Clean’ arena, asking how far national governments and local authorities have to go to achieve acceptable levels of air quality. Speakers will explore viable alternative fuels for commercial vehicles, whether low-emission zones can be an affective tool, and how you can improve your CSR rating and prove its credentials with the correct practices.

Delegates interested in making freight deliveries safer in their city centres for all road users can find out which equipment really works on their fleets, how to ensure your vehicles and drivers are fully compliant with the latest regulations, such as London’s Safer Lorry Scheme, and learn how town design and infrastructure can improve shared road space.

Finally, those visitors attending the ‘Quiet & Efficient’ seminars will hear experts exploring what the cities of the future will expect from urban freight movements and how they will cope with increasing demand for home deliveries and the growing convenience store trend. Consolidation, last-mile deliveries by low-emission vehicles and out-of-hours operations are likely to increase, but find out which one will work best for your city.

The Freight in the City Expo takes place on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace. Register now to receive updates and the latest urban freight news.

Global report focuses on reducing traffic fatalities by designing safer, urban cities

‘Cities Safer by Design’ is a global report for urban planners and policymakers that offers practical guidance for designing safer towns that can reduce traffic fatalities.

More than 1.3 million people are killed in traffic crashes worldwide, making traffic fatalities one of the leading causes of death in cities.

The report from WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities includes more than 30 specific urban design recommendations.

“With the right urban design, we can make cities more livable, with safer streets for everyone,” said Ben Welle, senior associate at WRI and one of the report’s co-authors. “It’s often children, the elderly and the poor who are most at risk for traffic accidents. As cities around the world rapidly expand, there’s an urgent need to design communities that are compact and connected, with calm traffic and streets that promote walking, cycling and access to transit.”

The report focuses on two ways to improve traffic safety in cities. First, by building and retrofitting urban environments to reduce the need for individual vehicle trips; and second, by reducing vehicle speeds in areas where motorised vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists mix.

Illustrated recommendations for specific design elements proven to improve traffic safety, include traffic calming measures, junctions that reduce conflict between different road users, and protected cycle networks.

You can also read Welle’s blog on the seven proven principles for designing a safer city.

FTA: Free HGV access to M6 Toll would ease congestion and improve air quality

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for free use of the M6 Toll by HGVs following last week’s publication of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Strategic Transport Plan.

One of the key priorities within the plan is wider use of the toll, however, the FTA said this is not a viable option for freight as the cost currently stands at £11 for an HGV, which is prohibitive for operators.

Sally Gilson, FTA Midlands policy manager, said: “The way to encourage wider use of the M6 Toll would be to make the essential movements of freight vehicles free at the point of use. This would help ease congestion on the M6 and give a more reliable journey time for freight.”

The association urged the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority to put pressure on toll operator Midlands Expressway to make essential freight journeys free as part of the strategic transport plan.

Gilson added: “The free one-month trial carried out by Midlands Expressway in July 2013 proved that the use of the M6 Toll by HGVs would increase by removing the cost barrier, freeing up much needed capacity on the M6 and taking HGV journeys away from urban areas.

“For significant air quality improvement on the M6, it is crucial that congestion on this section of the motorway is improved.”

Freight in the City Expo attracts big name exhibitors

The inaugural Freight in the City Expo is already attracting major industry manufacturers looking to demonstrate how fleets can be made, cleaner, safer and more efficient in their urban delivery operations.

Daf, Volvo, Isuzu and Iveco will be bringing along their latest urban delivery vehicles for visitors to explore, while technology giants such as Brigade, Tachodisc, Fuel Defend, Backwatch and Exeros will show you how to improve efficiency of your existing vehicles.

Representatives from the Eco Stars scheme will also be on hand to provide guidance to fleet operators on ways to drive down carbon emissions and make efficiency gains in fuel usage.

With more exhibitors signing up every day to take part in the expo, make sure you register today on to receive regular urban logistics news and event updates as they happen.

The Freight in the City Expo will be held on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace and comprise an exhibition and demonstration zone, alongside a comprehensive programme of seminars, panel debates and roundtables with industry experts.



Banning HGVs from city centres is not best option for improving road safety, says FTA

cycling in London

Banning HGVs in city centres during peak hours would not be the most effective way to protect cyclists and pedestrians, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has warned.

Speaking in response to reported discussions between the prime minister and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling last week about investigating a series of measures to improve cyclist safety, which included exploring the feasibility of a peak-hour lorry ban, FTA head of urban logistics Christopher Snelling said: “Even a medium-sized lorry would have to be replaced with 10 vans – which means overall safety would not be improved, let alone the emissions and congestion consequences.

“It has to be remembered that we don’t choose to deliver at peak times on a whim – our customers need goods at the start of the working day.”

The FTA added that it had written to the prime minister on the issue of cycle safety and is having ongoing discussions with the Department for Transport officials over the best ways to improve safety for all road users while preserving efficiency.

Snelling said: “What we are looking at is the safety of everyone.  For example while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the pedestrian peak is later. Forcing deliveries outside morning peak would interact with another group of vulnerable road users.”

He added that there were a number of measures would be a better approach to making busy city roads safer.  These include:

  • Increased targeted enforcement against HGVs and drivers that do not comply with safety regulations in key areas such as London;
  • Improved road infrastructure, such as road surfaces and junctions;
  • Tipper vehicle operators to commit and work to the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standard;
  • Incentives from government to make lorries with better visibility more available and commercially viable;
  • Allowing deliveries operators to work outside the peak, such as easing night-time restrictions like the London Lorry Control Scheme (that ends at 7am each morning);
  • Progressive improvement of safety standards for vehicle equipment from DfT, in line with what is possible for industry.

The FTA said all road users have a role to play in improving road safety, with better awareness, training and behaviour needed on all sides.

“The number of HGVs involved in fatalities in the UK has halved in the last 12 years, which shows the success of the progressive approach to improving safety,” said Snelling.