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Road Haulage Outfit Criticises London Mayoral Plans for Urban Logistics

Internet Shopping, a Rising Population, On Time Agenda All Worsening Problems UK – The point was very clearly made at the recent United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA[1]) Conference that the old MI5 maxim ‘we are only four meals away from anarchy’ is as true today as ever, a point illustrated by the fuss engendered during the recent KFC chicken farrago when a short term disturbance to a fairly insignificant contributor to the food chain promoted widespread comment. Urban logistics needs a serious overhaul and the rise of internet shopping and on time delivery demands are worsening the problem almost daily.

This week we heard from the Road Haulage Association (RHA[2]) speaking on the subject of London logistics, without doubt the most perfect example of the difficulties anywhere in the UK. Having considered Sadiq Khan’s Strategy for Transport[3] the RHA has pointed out that there is little support being shown for hauliers, and this at a time when their services are continually being stretched beyond the limit.

The RHA says that the mayoral plan simply doesn’t address the crucial need to move freight efficiently, despite the industry lobby doing its best to offer advice on how to address the challenges London faces in reducing the congestion that costs the economy billions. Peak time morning traffic is projected to slow to just nine kilometres per hour by 2041. This rate of progress simply means less work done by each vehicle each day, the result will therefore be even more trucks on the road to manage even the current workload levels.

One may hope that the rapid introduction of emission free vehicles will help at least to clean the capital’s air but this does not solve the congestion question, indeed electric delivery vehicles tend to have much lower payloads due to the weight of batteries meaning additional fleets to cope with the load tonnages required. RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett is unequivocal in his criticism of the mayor’s tactics, saying: “There’s a clear drive to force lorries off the streets of London in a bid to reduce traffic and air pollution.

But it won’t. We’re seeing more and more vans delivering freight in London as it is – today it’s four vans to every lorry and rising. Over-regulation of HGVs will widen that gap even more, which clearly isn’t going to do much to reduce emissions and congestion.

“The Mayor is reducing motorised mobility across London – his strategy makes freight movements very expensive which will hugely impact hauliers, retailers and London’s communities. By 2041 London’s population will have grown by nearly two million – needing more than a million new homes. Each new home requires several tonnes of building materials and infrastructure.

How does the Mayor propose that’ll happen if lorries can’t move freely and efficiently across the city?”

Photo: Nissan Voltia[4] electric urban delivery van.

Road Haulage Outfit Criticises London Mayoral Plans for Urban LogisticsRoad Haulage Outfit Criticises London Mayoral Plans for Urban Logistics


  1. ^ UKWA (www.ukwa.org.uk)
  2. ^ RHA (www.rha.uk.net)
  3. ^ Strategy for Transport (tfl.gov.uk)
  4. ^ Nissan Voltia (nissan-voltia.com)

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