Mayor to explore freight ban or charging in bid to improve London’s roads

Boris Johnson has called on TfL to identify the “potential benefits and challenges” of a freight ban or charge on HGVs in central London during peak times.

His directive comes shortly after the London Assembly members voted unanimously to introduce a rush-hour lorry ban in the capital.

The feasibility work will form part of a package of reform measures aimed at ensuring the long-term success of the capital’s roads.

More than 90% of freight in London is transported by road, with goods vehicles accounting for 30% of traffic during morning rush-hour.

The mayor has asked TfL to look at better ways of managing freight, such as options for banning or charging certain vehicles at certain times of the day, and more incentives to encourage use of consolidation centres.

In addition, TfL will look to streamline payments for the various charging schemes that already apply in London such as the LEZ and Congestion Charge, as well as future tolls proposed for the Blackwall Tunnel and new Silvertown tunnel.

This would be combined with a proposal to devolve the £500m in VED paid by Londoners each year to enable TfL to spend the revenue on local roads, as it is currently spent on the Strategic Road Network outside of the capital.

A network of smaller tunnels and ‘flyunders’ will also be explored to relieve congestion and free up land.

One million extra road trips per day are being added to the London’s transport network every five years, with the do-nothing scenario seeing congestion boosted by 60% over the next 15 years in central London, 25% in inner London and 15% in outer London.

A report produced by New London Architecture, in collaboration with TfL, looks at the history of the capital’s road network and proposes a number of possibilities to improve streets for the future.

It suggests that drawing upon the experiences of other European cities “grappling” with the challenges of air quality, safety and congestion could be useful for London: “For example, Paris, Warsaw and Madrid have introduced bans for HGVs within their central areas. The largest scheme, in Paris, was introduced in 2007 to tackle poor air quality, and operates between 5pm and 10pm.”

Lib-Dem mayoral hopeful Caroline Pidgeon last month called for a rush-hour HGV ban as part of her proposed freight strategy for London.








TfL launches LoCITY scheme to help freight sector adopt low-emission vehicles

TfL has launched LoCITY, an industry-led programme to help the freight sector make better use of low-emission vans and lorries.

The five-year scheme aims to increase availability and uptake of cleaner goods vehicles and will bring together freight and fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers, fuel providers and the public sector.

It will create new environmental operating standards and contractual clauses for procurement bodies to easily adopt.

LoCITY also aims to demonstrate, through research and real-world trials, that using these cleaner vehicles will not negatively impact operations.

Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, said: “We’re working with vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and the industry to make these vehicles a realistic choice for operators. Together we can improve London’s air quality, and by supporting the freight sector – which is essential for our city to function – we will have a real impact.”

He added that the Clocs programme developed for the construction sector has shown that a collaborative industry-led approach works and many lorries of the highest safety standard are now on London roads.

Mayor Boris Johnson said LoCITY forms part of a larger strategy to tackle air quality in the capital and is vital to the success of the Ultra Low Emission Zone due for roll-out in 2020.

LoCITY will have three workstreams focusing on:

  • Increasing the availability and affordability of low emission vans and lorries;
  • Improving alternative fuel infrastructure;
  • Improving policies, procurement and land use planning to increase the use and viability of low emission vans and lorries.

The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone will come into force in London in 2020 and is expected to almost halve emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10) from vehicle exhausts in central London.

TfL said steps are already underway to remove the most polluting diesel vehicles from the roads, and as part of that work almost £300,000 of funding has been allocated to Gnewt Cargo, which receives courier vehicles into its Southwark hub and consolidates the delivery of packages across London in a fleet of 50 electric vans.




Highways England wants feedback on key roads challenges facing logistics operators and customers

Highways England is keen to hear from transport planners, fleet operators and drivers about the best method to interact with them about the latest road network information.

It also wants to find out exactly what facts and intelligence operators need, as well as gain a better understanding of the key roads challenges facing them in their day-to-day activities and the impact on their businesses.

An online survey was launched at last week’s Freight in the City Expo in London by the CILT, on behalf of Highways England, to seek the views of those working in logistics planning, ‘on the road’ planning, operations, drivers and end customers.

CILT said this is a key opportunity for all those involved in road transport operations to voice issues or concerns about the current systems in place for information sharing and communication and to ensure its views are represented to Highways England.

The survey, which closes on Friday 20 November, will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Please click here to begin.

Quiet & Efficient seminars draw the crowds at Freight in the City Expo

Last week’s Freight in the City Expo in London held a series of seminars exploring how urban logistics operations would need to evolve to service cities of the future, and looked at initiatives in place today that are already helping to drive this change.

David Beeton, MD of Urban Foresight, highlighted that London sees 280,000 freight journeys every day, compared with just 25,000 van deliveries a day in Amsterdam. “Companies need to create integrated urban platforms” – such as shared user consolidation hubs – to reduce the volume of freight, he said.

Gloria Elliot (pictured), chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, discussed quiet vehicle technology and said that delivery vehicles so quiet that no one can hear them are “not so far away”. Quieter engines and roll cages were among the technologies she listed as already changing the face of night-time deliveries. However, she added, the country needs more government incentives to encourage and further this work.

In a session on rethinking traditional deliveries, the FTA’s head of urban logistics Christopher Snelling discussed the threat of a London lorry ban. “Needless to say,” he told delegates, “the FTA is opposed to the idea.” He added that while there is “no magic fix” for the pressing issue of cyclist and HGV collisions in the capital, a switch to vans could prove just as dangerous, if not more so to cyclists because of the increased number of vehicles this would put on the roads.

Freddie Talberg, chief executive of Pie Mapping, discussed how restrictions on freight in London can cause confusion and, subsequently, ineffective route planning. He cited an example in which operator Wincanton had been using a 25-mile route around the city to reach a second delivery point that was just a couple of miles away.

In the collaboration session, Mark Fell, divisional manager for sustainable mobility at Transport and Travel Research, explained how a business model could be made around consolidating retail loads to town centres. He said that for it to function as a business model, however, the option should be given to public sector users first and retailers second because they have shorter decision-making chains and are “more into the sustainability agenda”.

Sean Kelly, director of strategic solutions at Wilson James, spoke on what a consolidation centre can offer construction projects. He said the construction industry had an outdated understanding of the logistics industry, and that further understanding and planning would assist construction projects immeasurably.

Paul Davison, principal consultant for sustainable freight and logistics at Aecom, explained how an active freight quality partnership can provide an ideal platform for businesses, operators and authorities to communicate about freight and protect the sustainable movement of goods, adding that they will be instrumental in the government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda.

The final collection of talks addressed final-mile delivery and problems that arise in cities in the final stages of the delivery process.

Rob King from cycle courier Outspoken Deliveries told delegates that cities are set to become increasingly pedestrianised, and put forward bicycle delivery couriers as a way to keep cities moving in this scenario.

Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London from the FTA, gave advice to hauliers on handling parking penalty charge notices (PCNs). She said operators should keep a record of where PCNs have been awarded and use the data to identify their PCN “hot spots”, and tackle the issue from there by looking for alternative times or locations, or contact the local traffic authority.

Freight in the City Expo took place on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace.

TfL urges tomorrow’s designers to create the urban safety truck of the future

Inventive young designers of tomorrow are being invited to create the next-generation of safer, urban trucks in an exciting new competition from Transport for London (TfL).

The Future Truck Design Awards have been developed to explore all aspects of improving the safety and operation of trucks in towns and cities.

With the population of the UK expected to rise to 81 million by 2060, making the UK one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, our towns and cities are getting increasingly busy. This expanding population means rising demand for places to live and work, with increasing expectations of round-the-clock availability of goods and services.

The freight industry must feed the urban economy and, with more traffic than ever sharing crowded streets, making these large goods vehicles as safe as possible for other road users is vital.

Launching at next week’s Freight in the City Expo at London’s Alexandra Palace, the awards will ask students to create radical and game-changing ideas that could be incorporated into the trucks and freight operations of the future.

TfL said this opportunity is more than a theoretical exercise and the chance to win a £1,000 cash prize – the safer vehicle designs and systems of operation developed for these awards could save lives.

Road safety is a particularly high-profile issue in cities due to the number of accidents involving vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, and the increasing popularity of active travel.

The TfL document ‘Delivering a Road Freight Legacy’ states that: “Ensuring the safety and security of all users, including cyclists, pedestrians, drivers and vehicles, should be the highest priority for anyone who uses or manages London’s roads. It is the single greatest challenge facing any major city with a growing population and a changing profile of road users.”

Through engagement with schools, colleges and universities, the awards aim to raise the profile and awareness of commercial vehicle safety through an active media campaign and design competition.

Closely aligned with TfL’s Safer Trucks Programme, the competition will: seek out innovative new ideas that can help inform future vehicle design; identify sources of new talent; accelerate the development of safer urban trucks; and showcase the programme of work undertaken by TfL to protect vulnerable road users.

There will be three categories for students to enter, all of which must be for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes:

  • Whole vehicle design: All age groups eligible to enter. Entries will produce designs covering the whole of the vehicle and will be expected to have designed safety features into the overall vehicle package;
  • Safety feature innovation: Open to the 16-to-18 and 18-plus age groups only, entries will produce ideas for new safety features which could be added to the vehicle to improve safety;
  • System of operation: Open to the 16-to-18 and 18-plus age groups only, entries will produce ideas for innovation in urban freight deliveries which would have a significant impact on safety in operation.

Hints and tips for students on making the most of their entries, prize details and full eligibility criteria can be found at

The competition will be officially launched at Freight in the City Expo on 27 October and open for entries on 1 January 2016. The closing date will be 11 March 2016, with a shortlist – chosen by a panel of expert industry judges – announced on 4 April 2016. Awards will be presented at a ceremony on 26 April.

  • Freight in the City Expo is a free-to-attend, one-day event focusing on the challenges of delivering into city centres. A top line-up of industry speakers, as well as an exhibition of the latest urban vehicles and equipment, make this an event not to be missed. Register today and join more than 700 of your industry peers at Alexandra Palace on 27 October.

Transport for London’s road safety actions recognised at European level

Transport for London’s (TfL’s) efforts to improve road safety in the capital have been recognised as outstanding at a European level.

TfL has received the Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees (PRAISE) award for a rigorous safety programme, which has improved the standards of its own drivers and throughout its whole supply chain.

Every driver working for or on behalf of TfL is required to undertake vital safety measures, with risk assessments, training and requirements for accreditation to best-practice schemes, such as Fors, helping to boost driver safety throughout the capital and beyond.

TfL said it has achieved this by both mandating all directly employed drivers to require these, and writing Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) requirements into all contracts. Businesses that fail to keep to the clauses risk contract termination.

Ian Wainwright (pictured), head of freight and fleet at TfL, said: “Road safety is a shared responsibility. We help others improve their road safety, but it is vital we lead the way. That’s why we are so pleased to be recognised at a European level for this comprehensive work. We are committed to improving the safety of our own fleet and every driver working on our behalf. The methods we have used are transferable. Any business or organisation can help us all have safer roads.”

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), said: “Road safety is everyone’s business. But organisations, large and small, have a pivotal role to play by putting road safety considerations at the heart of their operations.”

The ETSC cited the importance of Fors and Clocs in driving improvements throughout supply chains.

Operators must meet best practice standards such as accreditation to Fors and drivers must be trained in approved courses, such as Safe Urban Driving, to be WRRR compliant.

TfL said the Fors standard ensures that all vehicles have close-proximity warning systems and blind-spot mirrors and that a programme of progressive training for drivers exists.

It added that WRRR requirements are an effective way for all organisations to proactively reduce risk of serious accidents in supply chains, and it encouraged other organisations to use their buying power to improve road safety for all road users.


Operators asked to voice opinions to shape Transport for the North freight strategy

Transport for the North (TfN) is seeking the views of operators to help shape the UK’s first pan-regional freight and logistics strategy.

The new strategy is expected to enable TfN to determine the steps that are required, in terms of network and policy development, to realise the freight and logistics industry’s potential.

Mott MacDonald and MDS Transmodal have been appointed to lead the project.

Data is required from operators in three key areas:

  • Strengths and opportunities;
  • Constraints and issues;
  • What interventions, developments and investments are needed for the sector to realise its full potential?

TfN is also giving logistics firms the opportunity to share any relevant data or written material with the study team and highlight any project proposals or planned investments they feel should be considered as part of strategy development.

A stakeholder conference was held in Liverpool earlier this month, where baseline research was presented to attendees and key challenges for the logistics sector discussed.

An online survey is now being conducted for those that could not attend, which closes at midnight on Sunday 18 October. This can be completed at, where presentation slides from the stakeholder meeting can also be viewed.

If you have any questions about the study, please email:

TfN recently appointed its new chief executive David Brown.

Transport for the North announces new chief executive will be Merseytravel’s David Brown

Transport for the North (TfN) has chosen Merseytravel director general David Brown as its new chief executive.

He will lead the organisation as it develops a new strategy for transforming the northern economy through better transport connectivity between the city regions, which is due to be published in March 2016.

An interim progress report on the new strategy will be released later this autumn.

TfN is also seeking to appoint an independent chair by the end of the year, with further plans to develop the organisation into a statutory body by 2017.

Brown, who will start his role within the next few weeks, is a highly experienced individual in the public transport and infrastructure sectors across the North of England.

He said of his appointment: “I’m delighted to be taking up this new role within TfN at a really exciting time for transport across the region and beyond. TfN will be at the forefront of delivering an integrated and holistic approach to transport in the North and I relish the opportunity to help shape and drive that forward.”

Prior to his appointment as chief executive/director general at Merseytravel, Brown headed up the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. He also led on the successful establishment of Rail North, which, similarly to TfN, brings together the northern authorities into a single organisation.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I am delighted to welcome David Brown as CEO of Transport for the North. Given David’s wealth of experience in the region’s transport sector, he is perfectly placed to bring momentum to this vital new organisation.

“We set up TfN so the region can exercise real power and make its voice heard on how we can best invest in transport. That’s why we have given it £30m to take forward its work over the next three years. I look forward to working with David as together we transform northern transport and build the Northern Powerhouse.”


West London Boroughs collaborate to create new sustainable freight strategy

Development of a new freight strategy to improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of goods movements across west London is underway.

The West London Freight Strategy is being devised by transport consultancy Aecom on behalf of the WestTrans Partnership, which is formed of the six west London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow.

The purpose of the freight strategy is to create a series of measures to boost efficiency and drive down freight miles across the boroughs by tackling key challenges:

  • Improve air quality
  • Improve road safety
  • Reduce congestion
  • Support economic growth, but manage freight transport demand
  • Improve vehicle energy efficiency
  • Increase business efficiency

A series of workshops have been held to bring together the boroughs, businesses and freight operators to discuss the challenges.

The latest was held last month at Palletline’s Perivale depot, which enabled all parties to experience a tour of a logistics depot and hear about the issues affecting operators in the local area.

Workshop attendees also learned about a number of efficiency measures that could be implemented into their freight operations, such as computerised routing and scheduling, driver training, alternative modes to road transport, aerodynamics, telematics and retiming deliveries.

An emphasis was also placed on how zero-emission vehicle technology could be used in urban areas to improve air quality, with final-mile specialist Gnewt Cargo demonstrating how electric vans and cargo trikes could be used to make cleaner deliveries to residents and businesses in city centres.

Paul Davison, principal consultant for sustainable freight and logistics, Aecom, said the event received a very positive reaction and provided a good insight into how cleaner technology and more efficient practices could be incorporated into logistics operations.

It also opened up discussions on how local authorities could provide incentives to encourage uptake of new technology and helped break down misconceptions over range, vehicle reliability and charging points.

One final workshop will take place at the end of this month/early November, with any interested businesses or freight operators encouraged to take part. The completed strategy is expected to be delivered by the end of this year. For more information please contact Tim Forrester on

WestTrans Partnership is also carrying out a range of projects across the six boroughs, including the use of Delivery and Service Plans to slash congestion and an Air Quality Cluster Group to develop mapping routes.

  • Aecom’s Paul Davison will be speaking about the important role that freight quality partnerships can play in bringing together local authorities and operators to make goods movements more sustainable at the Freight in the City Expo this month. Book your free place today!


Local authorities and freight firms can join forces and tap into £10m funding pot for end-to-end journey schemes

A £10m funding pot is available for collaborative R&D projects that will help drive down congestion by improving the end-to-end journey of freight and people.

The competition, launched by Innovate UK, is looking at proposals that enable a user to select a complete journey, whether for goods or as a passenger, from one starting point to a final end point and be offered transport options with different profiles, costs and schedules.

Innovate said transport plays a pivotal role in the country’s economy, however, network congestion and overcrowding are indicators that saturation point has been reached.

Traffic congestion, of which 40% of this gridlock is in London, is predicted to cost the UK economy £300bn over the next 16 years. It is believed that a 5% reduction is businesses’ travel on the roads alone could generate around £2.5bn of cost savings.

The UK’s increasing population is also leading to higher demand for goods entering the logistics chain. A key priority for the UK is intermodality and interoperability within freight and logistics, whereby goods can be transferred seamlessly between modes due to simple processes and the use of standard loading units, such as swap bodies.

To improve the UK’s existing transport systems, Innovate UK is focusing on two broad themes: optimisation and increasing useable capacity; and demand reduction. The ‘Enhancing the end-to-end journey’ competition will focus on optimisation.

Consortia comprising local authorities and service providers are expected to work together to cover at least one of the three key challenges:

  • Network and data connectivity within modes and to users – for example, economic incentives for a collaborative culture across the transport industry to promote industry-to-industry engagement and business models.
  • Infrastructure – for example, working with freight operators to find new ways to move a larger range of freight more swiftly using national and international services, including ways to address rise in e-commerce deliveries and novel approaches to freight sharing.
  • Customer interaction and experience – for example, development of personalised and profiled mobility planning, including a network focus optimised by load balancing.

Projects lasting between one and three years must be collaborative and led by a business, with small companies potentially receiving up to 70% of their eligible project costs, medium firms up to 60% and large ones up to 50%. Costs are expected to range from £250,000 up to £3m.

The deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 18 November. The second stage deadline for invited applications is noon on 21 January 2016. Applications are assessed by an independent pane of experts.

Further information and Guidance for Applicants is available online.