Night time delivery

London Councils has stated it has no plans to relax the rules governing night-time and weekend deliveries in the capital, despite renewed industry calls for the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) to be reviewed.

Responding to's questions on whether the LLCS - launched in 1986 - is in need of modernisation following advances in vehicle technology and successful trials of night-time deliveries during the Olympics, a spokeswoman said: “The London Lorry Control Scheme is in place to help minimise noise pollution and improve the environment in which Londoners live and work.

"It does not prevent any night-time deliveries, but restricts the movement of heavy goods vehicles to an ‘excluded route network’ during unsocial hours, unless they have been granted permission to use other roads."

She added: "Night time noise nuisance has, if anything, been a growing concern for Londoners – complaints about noise nuisance during the 2012 Olympic Games increased - and so there are no plans to relax current restrictions.”

Ineffective approach

However, Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), believes a blanket restriction on all lorries is an ineffective way to manage noise, especially given advances in truck technology.

“Improvements in technology means trucks are a lot quieter now than in 1986, they are very different vehicles today,” she said.

Chapman said the real issue was understanding the way in which London had, and still was changing, such as a huge influx of workers into the capital, greater congestion and more pressure on the roads network.

She added that the FTA is working closely with TfL on this matter, and looking at more effective ways to tackle noise and environmental concerns from residents, such as local councils investing in quieter road surfaces.

Scrapping restrictions on night-time deliveries would also benefit Londoners, Chapman said, as operators would not be forced into peak time traffic, therefore easing congestion, as well as reducing fuel costs for operators and lowering the emissions produced by lorries taking the longer, permitted LLCS routes rather than the most direct.

“We will keep calling for it to be reviewed. At the very least, we need to be taking a scheme that is supposed to tackle noise, but does not do so effectively, and ensuring there is special dispensation for quieter trucks, which would in turn boost market demand for quieter fleets.”