Boris plans out-of-hours delivery trials for London

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London mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for out-of-hours delivery trials to reduce congestion in the capital.

The move follows the success of out-of-hours deliveries during the Olympics last summer. The aim is to start the trail early in the new year.

The new scheme was unveiled at the London Freight Forum. Johnson said: “The out-of-hours deliveries during the London 2012 Games were another of those measures which initially raised eyebrows but in practice were a stonking success.

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Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

“Businesses benefited by saving money and congestion was reduced across the capital. It is exactly these sorts of innovative solutions we need to explore to ensure we balance the conflicting demand for space on London’s roads and streets as our population continues to rise.”

Transport for London has produced a report, “Delivering a road freight legacy” setting out it priorities. It says it will work in partnership with the industry during the next two years to develop a wider, long term freight strategy in London.

The mayor’s office and TfL will work with London boroughs and the freight industry on the trials which will explore how more deliveries could take place outside of the busiest times of the day.

It is hoped this will reduce congestion and benefit other road users, as well as allowing for quicker and more efficient freight trips.

A new “out-of-hours consortium” comprised of TfL, key boroughs, retailers, London councils, the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association will now be formed to take the lead in delivering a review of these out-of-hours operations, looking in particular at how they can be delivered more widely in the longer term without causing unnecessary disruption to residents.

TfL commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “It’s vital we harness the London 2012 games legacy and maintain momentum while the details of the longer-term plans are developed. Although some of these issues will not be resolved overnight, by working together, we can build on recent successes and ensure that freight deliveries in London can be even safer, greener and more efficient in future.”

Jack Semple, director of policy at the Road Haulage Association, said: “London’s out-of-hours delivery trials will highlight the many potential benefits to be had from receiving goods at other times and at night, although the transport industry will be wary of further regulation.”

And James Hookham, the Freight Transport Association’s managing director for policy and communications said: “The Mayor’s aspirations for London will see major changes in the way logistics works in the capital over the next few years. In addition, the anticipated swell in the capital’s population means that the industry will be under pressure to deliver more.”

However, the FTA also warned that some of the Mayor’s current proposals for the capital, including the development of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone and increasing vehicle safety standards, combined with a growing London population, would pose significant challenges for the freight industry over the coming years.

* London mayor Boris Johnson has called on the UK biofuel industry to turn London into biodiesel hub following report by LRS Consultancy for the GLA.

“By capturing used cooking oil right here in London and turning it into biodiesel we could provide 20 per cent of the fuel needed to power London’s entire bus fleet, while saving more than 50,000 tonnes of CO2 and creating hundreds of new jobs,” said Johnson.

The report entitled “The market for biodiesel production from used cooking oils and fats, oils and greases in London” found that London has the highest concentration of food businesses in the UK, producing between 32 and 44 million litres of used cooking oil every year.

However, the vast majority of the biodiesel is currently being processed in the north of England and Scotland.


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