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What are the challenges for freight in London?

forklift truck loading a hgv lorry

Posted on 17th May, 2016 by Jonathan Peach

With a new mayor in place in London comes a new opportunity to improve on the current issues faced by freight. Moving forward, the logistics industry want the challenges their sector face to be embraced when the new major sets out his policy agenda.

The logistics industry today

Each day, more than 360,000 tonnes of goods are delivered to the people and businesses of London. New policy that bans freight vehicles at peak times, or makes it difficult to transport goods, is sure to only have an adverse effect.

Over the following months, issues likely to be addressed include the Ultra Low Emission Zone, London’s road infrastructure, and airport expansion. All these offer opportunities for the logistic industry but only if the new mayor decides to work collaboratively.

About the opportunity for change, Christopher Snelling, from Freight in the City says:

“We would like the new London mayor and Assembly to work with the logistics industry. Our Manifesto sets out how we can help to deliver a stronger London, a cleaner London but also a safer London.

“These things can be done but they are best done through intelligently working together, not through simplistic measures that just make good headlines.”

Upcoming challenges for freight

Some of the biggest challenges the freight industry faces include:

  • Access to and use of road networks, especially since freight vehicles are known to increase congestion, add to carbon emissions, and contribute to road accidents.
  • The impact of initiatives like the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is sure to make logistics for the freight industry more difficult.
  • The Road Modernisation Plan and how this will impact on space on London’s roads.
  • Potential methods used to improve road safety – some will be exclusive rather than inclusive.


hgv vehicles in loading bay

Working together to create solutions

Of course, with good communication, finding solutions that work for all parties will be much easier. Instead of making decisions that just look good on paper, organisations like Freight in the City want new policies to consider the practicalities. At present, London’s people and businesses rely on the logistics industry and so putting barriers in the way will only cause chaos.

Over recent years there have been plenty of measures put in place to improve the issue of freight and safety, showing that freight-friendly policies are possible. The London Safer Lorry scheme, Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), and Construction Logistics Cycle Safety (CLOCS) have all helped improve safety on London’s roads while allowing the freight industry to still deliver goods. Other freight-friendly solutions could include improved roads for cyclists with minimal impact on deliveries and reforming the night-time delivery restrictions. These could work so much better than an unintelligent HGV ban.

hgv vehicle safety inspection

The take-up of vehicle safety technology has also proven how the logistics industry in continuing to modernise its behaviour, looking for ways to move forward. With products like VT TurnSafe cyclist safety system flying off the shelves, it’s clear that the freight industry is working hard to improve its road awareness and road safety.

Do you work in the logistics industry? If so, what do you see being the biggest challenges? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or tweet us @VisionTechnique.