Speaking at the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) Urban Logistics Conference earlier today, Transport Minister Paul Clark reinforced his view that quiet night-time deliveries can tackle urban congestion, reduce carbon emissions and engender more reliable deliveries without impacting on the lives of local residents.
HGV deliveries in urban areas are often limited during night-time and weekend periods, therefore increasing traffic volume and carbon emissions at peak hours. Quiet night-time deliveries will remove lorries from busy, urban roads without necessitating major infrastructural investment.
Paul Clark MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, said:
"Quiet out-of-hours deliveries can reduce congestion, cut pollution in local areas and save businesses time and money.
"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."
January saw the launch of the Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme (QDDS), an initiative backed by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) and FTA. Each trial requires a local authority to work closely with a retailer and implement quiet night-time deliveries using best practice procedure. Each participant will be subject to specialist noise mitigation assessments at the end of the trial.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said:
"Great improvements need not mean great compromise. By establishing a solid best practice framework, night-time deliveries can achieve all the benefits associated with reducing congestion with none of the perceived drawbacks of making deliveries during off-peak hours."
The results of a three month night-time delivery trial in 2007 concluded that if strict best practice procedures were followed then the supermarket in question would save a great deal of money, reduce its carbon footprint and improve the reliability of its supply chain. Just as importantly, the trial returned no complaints from residents.
The QDDS will run until March 2011.