Improving air quality in the UK’s towns and cities will be a key focus at this year’s Freight in the City Expo next month at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Speakers from across the UK will talk about the challenges facing local authorities to achieve strict EU air quality regulations, and how the freight and logistics sector can play its part in driving down harmful emissions.

To launch the day’s seminar programme, we’ll hear from Lucinda Turner, acting director of TfL borough planning, who has been instrumental in helping to shape the mayor’s air quality strategy

She’ll update delegates on current initiatives to clean up air quality in London, including: the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which it was announced earlier this week would be launched by 2019; a proposed Emissions Surcharge; and guidance on what fleets will need to have in place to comply.

This will be followed by a look at TfL’s five-year LoCity programme, which aims to help boost operators’ understanding and uptake of low-emission CVs.

TfL programme manager freight and fleet, Hannah White, will introduce the aims of the scheme, while Carl Lomas, chairman of the Institute of Couriers who heads up the LoCity vans working group, will bring us up to date with progress across all the different project streams.

We’ll also hear from LoCity champion Tevva Motors about the support it has received so far from the programme to help bring its medium-duty, low-emission range-extended trucks to market.

This will be followed by a seminar looking at the work taking place in London’s thriving West End, such as consolidation of goods, re-timing and encouragement of low-emission vehicles to service retailers in the busy shopping district.

While the introduction of stricter emissions regulations is helping to improve air quality for those who live and work in the capital, it is not without challenges for truck and van operators.

Natalie Chapman, FTA head of policy for London, South-East and East of England, will examine the key difficulties facing freight operators needing to delivering and pick up from London.

After a networking and coffee break, delegates will move away from London and take a look at some of the significant efforts taking place in other UK and European cities to address air quality.

Gary Smerdon-White, chairman of the Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership, will highlight some congestion-busting measures across the region that have successfully removed vehicle journeys, as well as provide insight into future freight plans through its Go Ultra Low strategy.

We’ll then learn first-hand how Fife Council has been seeing significant emissions reductions through its decision to trial the world’s first hydrogen dual-fuel bin lorries, converted by technology firm ULemco.

This will be followed by a look at work across Europe to promote uptake of ultra low-emission freight vehicles through the Cross River Partnership-led FREVUE project.

Finally, this session will hear about the freight strategy taking shape by newly formed Transport for the West Midlands, including intelligent use of modern traffic management software to improve reliability of road journeys.

We hope that delegates will come away from the morning sessions armed with a wealth of best practice examples across different sectors all working towards the same aim: improving urban air quality.

You can view the full day's seminar programme on the Freight in the City Expo website.

If you’d like to come along to Freight in the City on 2 November at Alexandra Palace, please register today for your free entry.

We look forward to seeing you there!