The ways in which London-bound deliveries are made will soon be transformed thanks to a new Freight Action Plan, details of which were revealed on 7 March by Transport for London and the Mayor of London.

The initiative will involve the co-operation of businesses, boroughs, and organisations within the freight and servicing industry, and aims to reduce freight traffic and road congestion around the capital. It will also encourage the adoption of ‘greener’ delivery options such as click and collect points in tube stations and delivery slots that allow shoppers to opt for drivers that are already in their area. To carry off these changes, TfL is planning to encourage businesses to push for more environmentally friendly delivery options for their customers.

According to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the primary reason for the introduction of the Freight Action Plan is the sheer amount of London congestion caused by freight services. Indeed, having high numbers of lorries and vehicles on the roads can be detrimental to the health of Londoners and have a negative impact on the environment.

The introduction of more click and collect points will allow commuters to pick up packages on their way home from work and will reduce congestion across the city. This is important as, at the moment, around half of household expenditure goes towards products and services that rely on road freight, and congestion issues in London have been getting steadily worse.

Of course, whilst any amount of London traffic reduction will be considered an achievement, the aim of many delivery companies is to be completely carbon neutral in the near future.

DPD, for example, one of the most well-respected and prolific delivery companies in operation, recently unveiled an all-electric depot in the heart of London. It features extensive infrastructure dedicated to charging electric lorries, meaning that it falls well within Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards. Indeed, ULEZ represents rigid emission standards within London that require vehicles to emit only a certain amount of CO2.

DPD’s story is only a taste of what represents a major trend within the freight industry. As London continues to expand and ULEZ sets tighter standards for vehicle owners and freight companies, the capital’s congestion issues will only come under more scrutiny. In 2020, for example, a new scheme to improve vehicle safety will be rolled out, requiring HGVs to reach stringent safety standards before they can be operated. At James Hart Chorley, we hope that as businesses become more attuned to issues surrounding congestion and pollution, London’s roads will become cleaner, greener and much less hectic.