In the fast-paced society in which we live, where population growth and economic expansion are occurring faster than ever, demand for freight vehicles is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Freight vehicles, although convenient, are said to be adding significantly to road congestion, as well as being a major contributor to noise and air pollution. They are also considered a danger, often parking in unsuitable spaces to make quick stops, causing safety issues for pedestrians and other road users.
So, what can be done to tackle this growing problem?
To combat these issues, a report has been released in which three case studies based in London are put forward, all offering different and unique solutions.
The first study explored the possibility of rescheduling deliveries on the busiest streets in London to early mornings/late evenings to avoid rush hours. The initiative was trialled by DHL within Camden and found massive cost savings as well as a drop in emission and noise pollution through reducing road congestion.
The second study looked into the streamlining of deliveries via the London Boroughs Consolidation Centre (LBCC). This scheme has achieved supply chain discounts and alleviation of congestion, although it was noted that a public subsidy would be required to develop the LBCC until it reached sufficient scale.
Finally, the third scheme looked into the use of self-driving vehicles in Greenwich to make deliveries in the local area. The use of robot technology and electric vehicles not only kept costs down through the use of driverless technology, but also cut emissions significantly.
In conclusion, it seems that these schemes have a long way to go to be incorporated into policy within the UK, however, cutting pollution and congestion whilst increasing safety are benefits that mean these changes should be researched further and ultimately welcomed into our cities.
Do you agree with self-driving, electric vehicles? Cutting pollution, but also cutting jobs? How about deliveries being made at 3am, could this disturb sleep for people living in cities? We would love to hear your thoughts!
The full report ‘How can we improve urban freight distribution in the UK’, is available here: www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ITC-Urban-Distribtion-report-May-2017.pdf