"We must remember that freight and logistics is the lifeblood of this country", said TfL MD of surface transport Leon Daniels launching the inaugural Freight in the City Expo this week (27 October) at London's Alexandra Palace.
Hundreds of visitors flocked to the iconic London venue to learn more about the industry's drive towards making urban freight deliveries cleaner, safer, quieter and more efficient.
"We are delighted to be here demonstrating that we are part of the support that the freight industry needs to keep London a buzzing, economically thriving city."
Daniels said that the capital has not been as busy as it is today since its 1939 peak, with a further two million people predicted to move to London by 2031, generating an additional five million road journeys on top of the 24 million already taking place. This is why it is investing £4bn into improving its infrastructure through its Roads Modernisation Plan.
Better use of technology, such as kerbside management systems, would help drive efficiency and sustainability of freight movements and contribute towards improving the capital's air quality. This would be complemented by the introduction of an ultra-low-emission zone by 2020 to drive down harmful emissions from transport and encourage the uptake of cleaner, hybrid commercial vehicles in London.
TfL's targeted enforcement to improve the safety of HGVs entering the capital would also continue to be stepped up, with initiative's such as the Safer Lorry Scheme launched last month and Operation Safety successfully driving up standards. It would also continue to encourage HGVs to be designed with lower cabs, larger windows and new safety technology ensuring London was doing "everything possible to reduce the number of vulnerable road users killed in our city to zero", said Daniels.
"But air quality, pollution and safety is not just about London," he added. "We are determined to really drive forward, working with other agencies, safer truck logistics programmes across the whole of the country.
"Freight in the City demonstrates all that is good in this industry, and we are delighted to be here."