Reducing freight trips in London is 'holy grail' for planners

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
21 September 2015

Freight makes up a third of rush hour traffic in London and cutting road trips is the “holy grail” for planners, an event was told.

Paul Strang, senior strategy and planning manager for surface transport at Transport for London (TfL), said the number of people living in the city was expected to increase by 1.7 million by 2030.

Speaking at a seminar on freight and logistics organised by the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum, Strang said vans made up 22 per cent of peak-time traffic and this was predicted to increase.

“The challenge we are facing is a growing city with less road capacity,” he said. “We are looking at every lever we can pull, which is why we’re looking at better ways of managing freight in the city.

“How do we get goods delivered in the city at a fair cost to businesses and consumers?”

Strang said TfL hoped to reduce road use by encouraging more consolidation centres, “mode switch”, retiming and rerouting deliveries and reducing wasted journeys, by measures such as specifying larger letterboxes to avoid missed deliveries.

“Reducing overall demand for road trips – that is the holy grail for us,” he said.

Strang said air quality and the attractiveness of places were important considerations. “Sustainable cities are as much about the quality of the places," he said. "A functional solution is not enough.”

The seminar was also told 91 per cent of containers entered the UK through the south of the country but 65 per cent of the UK population lived within a 150-mile radius of the Port of Liverpool.

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