Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and TfL have launched an action plan for managing freight movements in the capital, which they say have increased by around 20% since 2010.

The Mayor’s Freight and Servicing Action, published yesterday (7 March), sets out actions focusing on goods vehicle safety, emissions and efficiency.

It aims to ensure the freight sector is able to meet the needs of London’s growing population, while reducing central area goods movements in morning peak by 10% by 2026.

Lorries and vans currently account for around one fifth of road traffic in London and about one third in central London during the morning peak, when more people use public transport, walk and cycle.

TfL research shows that HGVs are involved in 63% of fatal collisions with cyclists, and 25% of fatal collisions with pedestrians, despite only making 4% of the overall miles driven in the capital.

It also reveals that goods vehicles account for around a third of all NOx emissions in the capital.

Key actions include:

  • Working with boroughs to better coordinate the control of freight movements on London’s roads, including supporting London Councils’ review of the London Lorry Control Scheme;
  • Tackling emissions through the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone next month and supporting boroughs in rolling out local zero-emission zones, with a clear guidance process for them to follow to ensure consistency;
  • Launching the HGV Safety Permit Scheme, incorporating a Direct Vision Standard for HGVs, with the first permits to be issued later this year. TfL is also working with regulators to bring in additional mandatory safety equipment for vehicles “where appropriate”, such as autonomous braking systems and technology to prevent drunk driving.
  • Ensuring land is available for urban logistics use and a London-wide network of micro-distribution networks to reduce road miles and encourage cleaner last-mile delivery methods.

Mayor Khan said: “Freight is essential for London’s economy, but for our future health and prosperity we need to be smarter about how we manage the millions of van and lorry journeys each week.”

Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, said: “Freight and servicing are the lifeblood of London’s economy and without the industry, London would seize up.

"As London continues to grow, we all need to think about how we can keep freight moving whilst tackling toxic air and congestion and reducing danger to vulnerable road users. We will continue to work closely with our partners and people across the capital to make our vision for cleaner and safer freight a reality.”

FTA head of South of England and urban policy Natalie Chapman said: “FTA hopes that the measures outlined in the Freight Action Plan will enable and support the industry to be as efficient as possible.

“Many of the actions within the plan will be delivered at a borough level, so we need to see strong leadership and guidance to ensure they are implemented holistically and consistently.

"Without this, London’s 33 boroughs may end up introducing schemes in slightly different ways, which would make the regulatory environment even more complex than it currently is for the logistics industry, a sector which underpins the capital’s entire economy.”