TfL has launched LoCITY, an industry-led programme to help the freight sector make better use of low-emission vans and lorries.

The five-year scheme aims to increase availability and uptake of cleaner goods vehicles and will bring together freight and fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers, fuel providers and the public sector.

It will create new environmental operating standards and contractual clauses for procurement bodies to easily adopt.

LoCITY also aims to demonstrate, through research and real-world trials, that using these cleaner vehicles will not negatively impact operations.

Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, said: “We’re working with vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and the industry to make these vehicles a realistic choice for operators. Together we can improve London’s air quality, and by supporting the freight sector – which is essential for our city to function – we will have a real impact.”

He added that the Clocs programme developed for the construction sector has shown that a collaborative industry-led approach works and many lorries of the highest safety standard are now on London roads.

Mayor Boris Johnson said LoCITY forms part of a larger strategy to tackle air quality in the capital and is vital to the success of the Ultra Low Emission Zone due for roll-out in 2020.

LoCITY will have three workstreams focusing on:

  • Increasing the availability and affordability of low emission vans and lorries;
  • Improving alternative fuel infrastructure;
  • Improving policies, procurement and land use planning to increase the use and viability of low emission vans and lorries.

The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone will come into force in London in 2020 and is expected to almost halve emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10) from vehicle exhausts in central London.

TfL said steps are already underway to remove the most polluting diesel vehicles from the roads, and as part of that work almost £300,000 of funding has been allocated to Gnewt Cargo, which receives courier vehicles into its Southwark hub and consolidates the delivery of packages across London in a fleet of 50 electric vans.