The Noise Abatement Society (NAS) has confirmed that it will be conducting six night-time delivery trials across the UK in 2010 in partnership with the DfT and the FTA.

The trials will assess the potential benefits of out-of-hours deliveries for operators and any negative impacts on local residents.

Lisa Lavia, MD at the NAS, says the locations for the night-time trials will only be decided in early 2010.

Currently curfews vary from council to council and on a store-by-store basis depending on their proximity to residential areas.

However, quieter vehicles, such as hybrid and electric models, have proved that near-silent operation is achievable.

Lavia adds: “Quiet equipment is always welcome, but it’s only one part of the solution because along with quieter equipment you also need to mitigate behaviour on night-time deliveries to make the entire operation as quiet as possible.”

Gordon Telling, FTA London policy manager, says: “The benefits of night-time deliveries are reduced road congestion and improved fuel consumption for operators.

“There are also fewer pedestrians and less traffic to contend with out of peak hours,” he adds.