London’s mayor urged to promote cleaner HGV technology and smarter freight management

The Mayor of London has been urged to promote the use of cleaner HGV technologies and smarter freight management in a bid to slash pollution caused by diesel vehicles on the capital’s roads.

A report released today (14 July) by the London Assembly Environment Committee showed that 40% of harmful NOx emissions in the capital stem from diesel vehicles.

It said that plug-in hybrids, plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric technologies are examples of very-low-emission technology that should be expanded to reduce harmful emissions from diesel goods vehicles.

Smarter freight management to minimise demand for goods transport into and through London should also be encouraged. Recommendations include looking to plan routes better and reducing HGVs entering London by making more used of smaller vehicles for smaller deliveries.

The report suggested that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) planned for London, which will require all diesel vehicles to be at a minimum Euro-6 standard, should be brought in before its 2020 launch date and cover a wider geographical area outside of the Congestion Zone.

A second phase of the ULEZ already proposed for 2025- which would see a London-wide scheme requiring all diesel cars without near-zero-emissions paying a charge to enter the zone – could also be accelerated as cleaner technology became more widespread.

However, this would need government incentives such as a scrappage scheme to replace older vehicles, an overhaul of VED to reflect NOx and PM emissions and adequate recharging infrastructure to be viable.

Goods vehicles should also be considered to be included as part of this second phase, the report added.

Real-world emissions testing on cars and light commercial vehicles was also recommended to establish the true extent of pollution when used in an urban environment, and the report urged the mayor to lobby the EU to speed up the process of introducing improved tests, currently planned for 2017.

Stephen Knight, chairman of the Environment Committee, said: “The challenge for policy makers then is to phase out high-polluting diesel vehicles while at the same time providing the infrastructure and incentives required to support the uptake of cleaner, low-emission alternatives.”

Local authorities pivotal in promoting shift to low-emission vehicles in cities

Take-up of low-emission vehicles in towns and cities is steadily increasing year-on-year, but local authorities have a significant part to play in supporting this growth.

This was the message delivered by the Office of Low-Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to delegates attending a Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership workshop in York city yesterday (6 July).

Steve Ives, head of energy systems at OLEV, said the government’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme would be sharing £35m between two to four successful cities bidding for funding in the national competition.

The scheme’s main aim is to see winning cities bring about a step-change in uptake of ULEVs, as well as becoming exemplars demonstrating how a local authority can achieve success.

Gloria Esposito, head of projects at LowCVP, said key drivers for boosting uptake of low-emission vehicles remain to reduce CO2 and NOx/PM emissions from road transport; lessen the reliance on fossil fuels; and to increase economic development through manufacturing and employment opportunities in the automotive sector.


However, several barriers currently exist to preclude widescale uptake of ULEVs in the van sector, such as a lack of available vehicles, particularly those with a higher payload; lack of information about financial benefits and suitability of alternative fuels; and a lack of information sharing between fleet operators.

To date, only 0.2% of new van sales are electric, with the Renault Kangoo the highest seller last year out of nine available van models and one range-extended electric vehicle, said Esposito.

Electric vans are perceived to have higher capital costs, with uncertainty in the total cost of ownership, including battery life and replacement charge. Also a payload penalty, range limitation, resale value and uncertainty in performance remain concerns for fleet operators.

Natural gas/biomethane vans suffer from a lack of refuelling stations and uncertainty in performance and reliability.

Help at hand

To overcome some of these barriers, Cenex’s new low-emission van cost and carbon guide provides much of the information local authorities need to know about the suitability of different types of van for their individual operations, including comparisons of whole-life costs and benefits.

Cenex said the online tool was essential as the van sector was the fastest growing sector of UK road transport, contributing 14% of the industry’s total CO2 emissions from a 95% diesel vehicle fleet.

David Beeton, director at sustainable city think-tank Urban Foresight, looked at some of the ways local authorities could promote a shift in vehicle use at the conference.

These included both financial and non-financial incentives (such as dedicated parking bays), as well as ensuring planning departments come on-board and begin to build-in provision for alternative-fuel infrastructure into new developments or parking plans. For example, delegates learned that in Westminster, 100% of planning permits for new parking spaces specify they must all be EV ready.

Incentives do not have to be focused on rewarding desired behaviour, there could be penalties imposed for those not adopting low-emission vehicles instead.

Leading by example

Procurement was another key driver that local authorities can use to lead by example with uptake of greener fleets.

In Dundee, the council runs the UK’s largest local authority fleet of ULEVS, with 62 units representing more than 25% of its light duty vehicles, while Stockholm city is leading a joint procurement scheme with 335 partners buying 1,250 low-emission vehicles per year.

Promoting recharging infrastructure is also essential for local authorities, added Beeton. For example, in Scotland and the West of England, electricity for charging vehicles is free of charge, while Camden allows public access for a variety of alterative fuel charging points used for its own fleet.

Beeton said collaboration between all departments in a local authority, as well as sharing best practice with other cities would really help stimulate EV take-up.

The creation of a ‘champion’ within each local authority was also a useful tool, he added.







Freight in the City seminar programme to provide practical, real-life guidance to improve city deliveries

The seminar programme is taking shape for the inaugural Freight in the City Expo on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Split into three distinct work streams to cover all aspects of clean, safe and efficient urban logistics, the seminars will bring together operators, local authorities, businesses, industry experts and policy-makers to inspire delegates to push the boundaries of improving their city centre deliveries.

Presentations and activities will demonstrate the many successful urban freight schemes taking place both in UK cities and globally, and explore practical ways that can see such measures adopted at local level.

The clean work stream will look at the latest breakthrough technology available for making sustainable urban deliveries, such as viable alternative-fuelled HGVs and vans, and provide guidance on how to navigate the myriad of available grants and research to draw upon. It will also demonstrate real-life case studies of trials being carried out in partnership between operators, local councils and businesses and explain how collaboration is paramount.

Safe deliveries will be tackled in work stream two, which will cover the implications of existing and forthcoming legislation to urban deliveries, look at the latest equipment and training schemes to help delivery drivers navigate busy city streets, and examine how local authorities can work with all road users to help them share limited road space without incidents.

Finally, the efficient work stream aims to inspire delegates with innovative ways to get freight into city centres. Consolidation schemes, zero-emission last-mile drop-offs and out-of-hours deliveries are among the many successful schemes being used every day in UK cities to reduce congestion and make more efficient use of busy urban roads.

If you feel your company or organisation has the expertise to speak at one of our seminars about a topical urban logistics challenge, or there is a particular subject you’d be interested to learn more about at the expo, please contact

You can also register to receive the latest expo updates and a fortnightly round-up of Freight in the City news via email.

Iconic venue for Freight in the City Expo 2015

The inaugural Freight in the City Expo will take place at London’s historic Alexandra Palace this autumn.

The iconic venue, situated high above the London skyline between Muswell Hill & Wood Green, first opened in 1873 on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday.

In 1935, the BBC leased the eastern part of the building and the first public television transmissions were made in 1936.

In more recent years, the Palace has built a reputation as one of London’s premier event venues. With its beautiful setting with panoramic views of London, stunning architectural features and well-proportioned halls, the Palace is a popular choice for both corporate and private events. RYA-dinghy-show-2009-1000x6641

“We have selected Alexandra Palace as the venue for the inaugural Freight in the City Expo because it offers a fantastic exhibition space large enough for articulated trucks to drive straight into and it has great links to the M1, M25 and North Circular,” said Laura Hailstone, project manager of Freight in the City.

“Unlike purpose-built exhibition venues, Alexandra Palace has plenty of character and charm and will enable us to provide our exhibitors and visitors with a fantastic experience,” she added.

For visitors driving to Freight in the City Expo, the Palace has complimentary on-site parking for 1,500 vehicles. The venue itself is just 1 mile from the North Circular; 5 miles from the M1; and 8 miles from the M25.

For those travelling by public transport, both Wood Green underground and Alexandra Palace overground stations are close by, with a free shuttle bus running throughout the day of the exhibition collecting visitors from both stations and dropping them at the door of the Palace.

“The other bonus about the venue is that it provides us with the necessary infrastructure to set up a truck washing facility adjacent to the venue for any exhibitors showcasing trucks and vans,” said Hailstone.

The leading truck manufacturers have all shown a strong interest in exhibiting at the Expo. Details of confirmed bookings will be announced in the next edition of Freight in the City News (8 July).



Boris pushes for a reduction of 14,000 deaths or serious injuries in London by 2020

A new target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020 has been set by the Mayor or London today (9 June).

Meeting the new target would mean a reduction of more than 14,000 deaths or serious injuries over the next five years.

The commitment comes as Transport for London (TfL) published the full London road casualty figures for 2014.

According to the 2014 Road Casualties and Collisions report, the number of people killed or seriously injured in London was down 7% to 2,167 (2013: 2,324), which means London has met the Mayor’s previous target of a 40% reduction in casualties six years early.

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in 2014 was down 12% to 432 (2013: 489), while the number of children killed or seriously injured fell to the lowest level recorded, down 11% to 166 (2013: 187).

“These figures show quite clearly that road safety in the Capital continues to head in the right direction,” said Johnson. “However, with a growing population and more people on our roads, we’ll have to pull out all the stops to ensure that such positive trends continue. Today, we’re setting a new target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020.”

Leon Daniels, MD of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Every death and injury on our roads is one too many and we will be relentless in pursuing the Mayor’s new target. The wide ranging action that we and our partners are taking includes major safety improvements to roads, junctions and cycling infrastructure, action on dangerous lorries, tough enforcement and a programme of education and training to help people use the roads safely.”

CLOCS presentation from Tip-ex 2015 available for download now

Over 70 delegates took time out from the Tip-ex and Tank-ex shows last week in Harrogate as CLOCS took the work-related road risk message out on the road.

Members of the CLOCS team, along with representatives from Lafarge Tarmac, Cemex, FM Conway and SiG took the audience through a range of presentations covering the standards, cultural change and technology shifts which are associated with CLOCS.

In addition, Road Safety GB, in association with Scania, took the opportunity to launch a new road safety initiative for schools.

Looking out for vulnerable road users is a crucial part of the Freight in the City safety message and we’ve got hold of the presentation for your review:

CLOCS: Looking out for vulnerable road users

FTA Managing Freight in London event to tackle road safety, compliance and enforcement

Road safety, compliance and enforcement when delivering into the capital are set to be key topics tackled at the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) Managing Freight in London conference next week.

The event, on Tuesday 2 June at the Kia Oval, will cover challenges facing freight operators in the next two to three years, from the development of cycle superhighways, to retrofitting safety equipment, lowering emissions and penalty charge notices.

It will also discuss the role of schemes such as the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) and the Construction Logistics Cyclist Safety scheme (Clocs).

Rob Beckers of the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit will be leading a session on HGV enforcement and infringements. He said: “At the conference, I will be briefing attendees about how our enforcement works, the most typical mistakes these operators are making as well as the extreme examples of criminal behaviour. This is part of our efforts to work with the logistics industry to raise standards and ensure all vehicles and drivers on London’s roads are being operated the way they should be.”

The session will also address the detail of the upcoming London Safer Lorry Scheme and how it will be enforced.

A Metropolitan Police Exchanging Places event will also take place the evening before the conference, whereby cyclists are able to experience an HGV driver’s view of the road.

The scheme has seen more than 18,000 cyclists take part to date, with 97% saying they will change their riding as a result and 99% offering to recommend it to a friend.

London transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy will make the key note address at the conference. “It is impossible to underestimate the importance of freight in the capital as without it London could not function,” he said.

Hendy added: “The capital’s roads are facing new pressures, with a population set to reach
10 million by 2030 and infrastructure changes to meet resident and business demands. As we face these changes, we’re pleased to support the FTA as it works with its members and the industry to understand and address these challenges.”

Chaired by FTA chief executive David Wells, delegates will also hear from Westminster City Council; cyclist training body Bikeability, operators, customers and FTA policy experts.

The Managing Freight in London Conference, sponsored by Transport for London, takes place on Tuesday 2 June at The Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11. For further information or to book a place go to

Manchester and Highways England link-up for city-region roads strategy

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Highways England have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two parties developing shared strategies for motorways and key local roads across the city region.

The new partnership aims to support economic growth in the region over the next 20 years.

Graham Dalton, chief executive of Highways England, said: “Greater Manchester is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country so it’s vital that we work together to ensure it has a world-class road network to support the economy.”

He added that more than £200m is already being invested on creating a smart motorway on a section on the M60 and M62, which needs to be complemented by improvements on local roads.

Jon Lamonte, chief executive of TfGM, said the partnership will allow the region to fulfil its economic potential and is key “piece of the jigsaw” to making travel across Greater Manchester easier.

“Having a clear, strategic approach to the management of highways across a city region as large and complex as Greater Manchester – and making sure it works in tandem with tram, train and bus services – is absolutely essential to keep it growing and moving,” he added.

Chancellor George Osborne last week announced Manchester would lead the way for UK cities looking to embrace the government’s proposed Cities Devolution Bill.

Greater Manchester is set to elect its own mayor by 2017, and take on responsibilities for local transport, housing and skills, such as the current model in London.

“This law will pave the way for Greater Manchester – and, importantly, other cities as well, to take greater control and responsibility over all the key things that make a city work, from transport and housing to skills, and key public services like health and social care,” Osborne said.

However, the FTA warned that there needed to be one set of rules governing freight for all cities to avoid confusion for operators.

Retiming deliveries is key to keeping pace with London’s growth

Retiming deliveries outside of peak hours to cope with a “rapidly changing London” was tackled at a TfL conference this morning held in the capital.

Operators, businesses and local authorities were brought together to discuss the practicalities of shifting deliveries outside of the peak hours of 0700-13.00 to cope with London’s burgeoning construction boom and TfL’s £4bn road modernisation scheme works taking place.

TfL said that while not all businesses are able to retime, other options, such as rerouting or consolidating deliveries, can provide similar benefits.

London’s population is set to grow from 8.6 million people today to more than 10 million by 2030, and TfL said this demands careful planning for the safe and efficient movement of increasing volumes of goods on the capital’s roads – currently valued at £200bn each year.

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London’s transport commissioner, said: “Never has the need to adapt been more pressing.  We must build on all the work we did together during the London 2012 Games to make further progress on retiming outside the busiest times, rerouting and consolidating deliveries.  This will mean less congestion, improved road safety and reduced costs for the industry and businesses.”

Fruit and Vegetable distributor Reynolds said it had been delivering to customers outside of normal business hours for many years now, often late at night or during the early hours, with customers benefitting from both convenience and fresher produce straight from its Herts NDC.

“There are logistical benefits for Reynolds too,” said Martin Ward, head of distribution at Reynolds, “which ultimately means the prices we charge our customers can be more competitive. Because roads are far less congested, especially in central London, larger vehicles can be deployed and more drops achieved on each route. What’s more, often we can utilise the same vehicle twice in a day, which makes great financial sense.”

Tim Slater, MD of Transport UK & Ireland at DHL, said sharing of best practice and technologQuiet Cities 2014y, such as DHL’s gas-powered concept vehicle laucnhed at Quiet Cities last year (pictured, right), would facilitate retiming of deliveries, “ensuring reliability, easing congestion and improving road safety”.

TfL is publishing postcode data of planned disruption for route-planning systems and communicating with 11,000 operators in the weekly Freight Bulletin. TfL is also providing tools such as a matchmaking service which allows operators and business to gain the support of all stakeholders at any location for retimed deliveries.

Further information is available here: and

Econic to be offered with 8-speed PowerShift for wider urban role

Mercedes-Benz said its Econic municipal chassis is soon to be offered with an 8-speed PowerShift automated gearbox as an alternative to the current 6-speed Allison automatic box.

This will provide further scope for the Econic to be used in a wider urban role – such as distribution, tipper and mixer duties and as a skip-handler – in addition to its primarily intended purpose as a refuse collection vehicle (RCV).

Its low driving position and large glazed areas meet the demand for much improved cyclist and pedestrian safety in cities.

Confirming that the development and testing work for the new installation is under way in Germany, Mercedes-Benz UK sales engineering manager Nick Blake said at this year’s CV Show: “If you ask me if Econic will be better in this role with an 8-speed PowerShift, then the answer is of course, yes.”

The box is already matched to the same 7.7-litre OM 936 6-cylinder engine in Arocs, Actros and Atego units.

Mercedes exhibited several non-RCV Econics at the show, including the high-visibility rear-steer tridem 8×4 aggregates tipper for operation in London by Cemex Aggregates (pictured). The truck is based on the 3235L Econic, with its OM 936 engine rated at a nominal 350hp/1,400Nm. It has a Wilcox body and Edbro CX14 front end tipping gear.

  • Cemex is currently trialling a four-axle Econic tipper.The tipper is based at the company’s Angerstein Quarry site near Dartford in London and will supply sand and gravel to Cemex’s concrete plants and local customers in the capital. The tipper is fitted with a Wilcox Wilcolite insulated smooth rigid tipping body and is designed to take a payload of 20 tonnes, the same as a standard tipper.  The operator described the design as a marked step forward, as previous high-visibility design vehicles have had capacities of around 16 tonnes.