Retailers are being invited to take part in trials of a noise mitigation scheme that would allow lorries to make urban deliveries at night and weekends when they are normally banned.
The Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) has been developed by the consortium comprising the Department for Transport, the Freight Transport Association and the Noise Abatement Society.
It will support at least six quiet delivery demonstration trials at retail premises across England during 2010, to illustrate the potential benefits from curfew relaxations for quiet deliveries, while still protecting local residents from excess noise.
HGV deliveries in urban areas are often constrained during night-time and/or weekend periods; however, this increases traffic and carbon emissions at peak hours.
Transport Minister Paul Clark said: “Quiet out of hours deliveries can reduce congestion, cut pollution in local areas, and save businesses time and money. This scheme aims to demonstrate that, with the adoption of best practice in quiet delivery technology and techniques, a balance can be found between protecting residents and relaxing curfews for a range of locations and store types.”
Each of the quiet delivery demonstration trials will involve a working partnership between a retailer and relevant local authority. The scheme will provide project management and facilitation support for each of the trials, along with specialist noise mitigation assessments at each site and noise monitoring during the trial’s duration.
The scheme will be looking at a range of potential measures including driver and store staff training, quiet vehicle and handling equipment technologies and noise mitigation measures at the point of delivery. The particular measures to be adopted for each site will be decided at the local level. These could include anything from common-sense measures like considerate driver and site personnel behaviour, to installing noise mitigation equipment.
FTA regional policy manager Natalie Chapman said: “By developing robust guidelines and processes, this scheme will aim to make out-of- hours deliveries a feasible sustainability measure to be seriously considered by local authorities across the country and help with the wider adoption of curfew relaxation for quiet deliveries”.
If you are interested in taking part, you can contact scheme manager Chris Douglas at consultants Transport & Travel Research, email: firstname.lastname@example.org