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Shift to out-of-hours deliveries should be Olympic road safety legacy

The Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) message that a more widespread and sustained shift to out-of-hours deliveries could improve road safety by reducing congestion and interaction between goods vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians has been taken up by a major Transport for London publication. One year on from the highly successful delivery by the logistics industry of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Transport for London (TfL) has published its ‘Transport legacy – one year on’ report.

As a result of restrictions on night-time deliveries, and the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) which restricts the movement of heavy goods vehicles over 18 tonnes at night and weekends, there are more lorries on the road during the rush hour peak of 7-9am. If restrictions were relaxed, then some hgv traffic could be taken out of those peak hours, reducing the potential for conflict with other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians. FTA is pleased that TfL recognises the benefits that this can bring and calls on London Councils to work with TfL and industry to urgently review the LLCS and other night time delivery curfews.

Earlier this month FTA launched its own vision for London, ‘Supporting economic growth in London – efficient logistics’, which highlights what TfL and the London boroughs must do to support an efficient logistics industry. One of the key points made in the report is that with over a million more people expected to swell London’s population over the next 15-20 years, demand for delivery and servicing activity is set to increase, resulting in the need to make more efficient and flexible use of the capital’s roads. This means enabling quiet out-of-hours deliveries to take place to ensure that the increase in freight traffic is not forced into peak hours.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London said:
"Out-of-hours deliveries can provide real environmental, financial and important safety benefits. This is not about a complete shift from daytime to night-time deliveries, but smoothing out the peaks and troughs over a 24-hour period to ensure greater utilisation of vehicles, reduce congestion and importantly reduce the potential for conflict between cyclists and pedestrians."

TfL’s report also mentions the priority being given to improving kerbside access and reducing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for companies delivering essential goods and services in the capital. The PCN Survey 2012, commissioned by FTA, revealed a 50 per cent leap in the number of PCNs being issued in London. The 27 companies surveyed had paid £2.9 million in fines and experienced a rise in costs which was directly related to the increase in the number of PCNs issued on the capital’s roads.

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