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.

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.”

West Midlands long-term transport strategy released for public feedback

Birmingham will get one of the first clean air zones

A long-term strategic transport plan to help the West Midlands unlock its economic potential has been put out to public consultation.

Movement for Growth has been developed by the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) and sets out the region’s proposed transport strategy for the next 20 years.

It includes strategic road and rail improvements, a fully integrated train, bus and rapid transit system and a comprehensive cycle network.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, chair of the ITA, said: “We need a transport system that both builds upon our existing success stories but also helps our economy grow further and creates an even better place to live.

“Transport is vitally important to this and Movement for Growth sets out in detail the specific needs of the metropolitan area and how the system can help maximise our economic and social opportunities.”

The transport plan will form part of the metropolitan area’s Urban Mobility Plan, around which each West Midlands council can develop individual strategies to suit it own needs while fitting in with the overarching objectives for the region.

The public consultation details and draft documents are available at: /strategy-and-publications.aspx

Low-Emission Commercial Vehicle plan to stimulate uptake of greener fleets in London

Transport for London (TfL) yesterday (22 July) announced a series of measures for freight operators, businesses, manufactuers and local authorities to boost uptake of low-emission goods vehicles in the capital.

In its Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Delivery Plan, TfL said it aimed to overcome the challenges and explore opportunities for stimulating greener technology and refuelling infrastructure in the commercial vehicle sector.

A Low-Emission Commercial Vehicle Programme would be launched this summer to co-ordinate these actions.

TfL noted that there was an enormous variation in the types of vehicle in this market, ranging from those with large depot-based fleets, through to sole traders with vehicles also used as private vehicles.

There were also issues with the vehicles themselves, with the additional weight from batteries impacting on the available payload and the higher up-front costs for van operators.

However, as commercial vehicle investment decisions are made on whole-life costs, TfL believed ULEVs could be attractive to fleet managers and business owners responsible for reducing fuel costs.

TfL said it would look to build on the relationships with the freight industry it had already established through the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety programme and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme to help operators and receivers of goods minimise the impact of their deliveries on air quality.

It planned to lead by example by including environmental standards within its procurement requirements; inform and support fleet operators, boroughs, vehicle manufacturers and cleaner fuel suppliers to increase availability and uptake of low-emission CVs and their fuel needs; and prepare the frieght sector fot the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2020.

Local boroughs should look to use local policy measures such as priority loading and micro-consolidation that uses ULEVs for last-mile deliveries to incentivise uptake among businesses and freight operators, as well as requiring their own suppliers’ vehicle to meet environmental standards.

Industry was urged to invest on the development of cost-competitive commercial ULEVs, while the government was called on to review the regulations on payload to help solve the issue of battery load taking payload over 3.5 tonnes in some instances.



Public sector air quality champions urged to enter Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards

The Energy Saving Trust is looking to recognise the action being taking by local authorities and public sector bodies in reducing harmful emissions in urban areas through a new Air Quality Initiative Award.

It is one of 11 categories at the 10th Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards that highlight best practice among private and public organisations that have implemented green policies to reduce their fleet’s carbon footprint and fuel costs.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said the new air quality category was introduced to highlight the diverse approaches to tackling emissions from local authorities, as the issue had now moved higher up the political agenda.

He added that recent figures from Public Health England suggest that around 29,000 early deaths each year are attributable to poor air quality, with the cost to the economy estimated to be as high as £16bn a year. Nearly 9,500 people died in London in 2010 as a result of long-term exposure to air-pollution, while Newcastle University said pollution in the North East might be as much as 60% worse than first thought.

“The introduction of this new award reflects the rising importance of air pollution on the political and fleet agendas. I’m confident that the winning authority will have made an outstanding contribution towards improving the UK’s air quality,” Sellwood said.

The deadline to enter this year’s awards is Friday 31 July. A full list of categories, along with details of how to enter can be found at

Winners will be announced at an event on 26 November at the London Transport Museum hosted by Watchdog’s motoring reporter Ginny Buckley, with the keynote speech delivered by transport minister Andrew Jones MP.



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.



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.

Scottish urban delivery guide launched by FTA

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched a policy guide for making efficient urban deliveries to Scottish towns.

It aims to support economic growth in Scotland’s cities – and builds on the legacy of collaborative working practices that maintained efficient services in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The document highlights the importance of freight to Scotland’s city economies, out-of-hours delivery guidance, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and cycling safety issues.

Chris MacRae, FTA’s head of policy in Scotland, said: “Scotland’s cities are its economic power house and vital to its economic development. Efficient urban logistics are a key determinant of this, so facilitating the correct policies to enable this is essential.

“The Commonwealth Games taught us a lot in terms of managing freight delivery and servicing during a ‘business as unusual’ situation so it’s important to build upon best practice and experience to ensure urban freight deliveries and economic growth can succeed.”

For copies of the guide, please contact or call 01892 552255.

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).



Local authority interest in Fors standards gathering momentum

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) is gaining popularity from local authorities across the UK, as work-related road risk, air quality and vulnerable road user safety head higher up their agendas.

Speaking to, John Hix, regional director at Aecom – which operates the scheme with the CILT and Fleet Source through the Fors Community Partnership (FCP) – said support from local authorities was a key component in the expansion of Fors outside of London.

Local authorities can become involved with Fors in three different ways, said Hix.

First, those councils with their own fleets can become Fors operators themselves; second, local authorities could specify Fors requirements through their procurement contracts; and finally, those councils with planning powers could ensure Fors is implemented through planning consent arrangements and construction logistics plans before granting permission for new projects.

“For a local authority specifier, these are three things they can do as a minimum, none of which cost a great deal of money, but all will help them champion safety and help safeguard their repute. It will also help develop what we see as being the single national standard,” added Hix.

Local authorities can also benefit by looking to apply the scheme to not only HGVs and vans, which currently comprise the bulk of Fors members, but also apply it to bus, coach and taxi fleets in their areas.

Tyne and Wear are already supporting the implementation of Fors, which includes promotion and the provision of free workshop sessions to operators, said Hix, with talks also taking place with both Manchester and Liverpool authorities.

Fors is a voluntary scheme, launched in the capital by Transport for London (TfL) in 2007, that aims to help operators improve all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, economical operations and vehicle emissions.

In February this year, the FCP was awarded a five- to seven-year concession by TfL  to take the scheme national.