Recent changes to kerbside loading limits in London have come as a welcome relief to delivery firms. Following campaigning by the Freight Transport Association, London Councils agreed in June to double the kerbside loading limit on yellow lines from 20 minutes to 40 minutes.
Sadly, there is a sting in the tail. Some boroughs are at the same time removing the unlimited kerbside access before 11am. This means that those making early morning deliveries which take longer than 40 minutes now risk being fined. More seriously, the 33 boroughs are all introducing the changes at different times and are failing miserably to inform operators, who will be receiving fines without warning.
FTA's Regional Policy Manager for London, Natalie Chapman said, 'We are delighted that operators will have a longer window to make their deliveries. However, there is no sense in adding extra restrictions before 11am when there is no evidence to support such a move.
'We welcome the approaches of Westminster City Council and the London Borough of Camden, which are both planning to move to 40 minutes after 11am and to allow loading and unloading for 'as long as necessary' before 11am and after 6.30pm. We are very concerned that different boroughs adopting different policies at different times will cause even more confusion to drivers. In the long run, this will increase delivery costs and will result in higher prices for consumers.'
FTA is urging operators to check what rules apply in the particular borough they are delivering to before the driver sets off and to bear in mind that the rules may change over the coming months.
At present in the absence of any kerbside pips, operators may load/unload for as long as necessary before 11am and after 6.30pm. FTA's lobbying to London Councils resulted in an agreement by the London Council's Transport and Environment Committee on 14 June 2007 to double kerbside loading.