Leading trade association the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and UK charity the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) have teamed up to make night-time deliveries easier while minimising the impact of noise and air quality on local residents.
Night-time deliveries represent a cost-effective way to improve delivery reliability, reduce road congestion and, subsequently, reduce the impact of air pollution in urban areas. FTA and NAS have developed robust guidelines and processes that will make efficient night time deliveries achievable for local authorities across the UK.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s policy manager leading on this issue, said:
"We are really pleased to be working closely with the Noise Abatement Society to achieve sensible savings in journeys, emissions and costs through night-time deliveries.
"Retailers don’t want to disturb residents, and by providing real solutions we have come up with more than just a compromise – we are working to show that journey times, fuel economy and air quality, as well as stock turnaround, can be improved without affecting local residents’ right to a good night’s sleep.
"We look forward to developing the concept of sustainable out-of-hours deliveries further with NAS and the wider adoption of such schemes."A three-month night-time trial was undertaken at a large supermarket in Wandsworth in late 2007. Utilising NAS’ Silent Approach (TM) programme and FTA’s toolkit/guidance/best practice, Delivering the Goods, the project showed that decibel levels, journey times, delivery costs and CO2 emissions were reduced and no noise-related complaints were made by local residents.
Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, Noise Abatement Society, said:
"Protecting the rights of local residents is of paramount importance. Anticipating the inevitability of the extension of delivery hours as a result of chronic congestion in our towns and cities, introducing quiet delivery practices now, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring ensures that the public will be protected throughout. Given the significant health and environmental gains to be made, it is critical to establish feasible and sustainable out of hours delivery practices. Doing so will also lessen daytime disturbance and enable quieter deliveries to become accepted as the norm."
The work done by FTA and NAS shows that industry can collaborate with social action groups to find practical solutions to noise problems. It is hoped that Noise Action Week, which runs from 18 to 22 May, will push the issue of noise awareness further up the political and social agenda.