Mercedes-Benz Axor delivering at night

The London Lorry Control Scheme has been suspended in order to ease the passage of goods into shops and supermarkets.

London Councils said the decision to cease enforcement of the scheme, which controls the movement of lorries at night and at weekends, was made in response to concerns by the industry, as well as government calls to lift restrictions.

It said the suspension is in place until 30 April, but that it would keep it under review.

In a statement, London Councils said: “We appreciate that the temporary suspension of enforcement will not solve all supply problems but should help provide some further flexibility for London’s businesses to help them do all they can to meet increasing demands at this challenging time.

“If you do plan to change your delivery routes and schedules in light of the suspension, please do take care to ensure the routes you use are suitable for your vehicles avoiding narrow streets and low bridges etc.”

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Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, said the “radical” measure was just one of the points the association had raised with officials and it was pleased its voice was being heard.

“The suspension will provide operators with greater flexibility to ensure the supply chain is resilient enough to deliver the food, medicines and other goods London needs,” he said.

“It will be important for operators who undertake night-time deliveries that they ensure that operations are as quiet as possible.”

The FTA described the move as “a vital step forward in the industry’s response to the challenges posed by COVID-19".

FTA chief executive David Wells added: “We advise all logistics businesses affected by this decision to follow the guidance and code of practice developed by Transport for London, with support from FTA. By following this advice, operators can understand how to retime their deliveries effectively, while not disturbing local residents.”