The impact that freight movements has on the Capital concerns us all

The plan is a culmination of more than a year's work by Transport for London (TfL), members of the London Sustainable Distribution Partnership, boroughs, business, freight operators, bodies and associations.

Eight key proposals aim to help promote collaboration and access to data to improve the efficiency of freight distribution and servicing in London, while reducing congestion, emissions and injury caused by freight.

The plan addresses the challenge of London's expected growth facing freight operators and seeks to recognise the vital role that freight movement plays in maintaining London as a world-class city by balancing the needs of freight with those of other transport users.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: 'Over the next 10 years, the population of London is anticipated to increase by a further 800,000 people. Alongside this, there will be 15 per cent more freight on the transport network.

'Freight has not historically been given the same level of attention as the rest of London's transport network but the impact that freight movements has on the Capital concerns us all. The decisions we take today will have a lasting impact on how London will function and operate in the future.'

Working together

TfL Commissioner Peter Hendy said: 'TfL cannot deliver this critically important Freight Plan on its own. We believe that with the support of the boroughs, and freight industry, by working together we will be able to make a real difference to the way in which freight can sustainably provide for the future needs of the Capital.'

Gordon Telling, the Freight Transport Association's (FTA) Head of Policy for London, said: 'The FTA and its members are delighted to support TfL in the launch of the consultation on the London Freight Plan.

'FTA has been involved with this project since its inception and is pleased with the progress that has been made to develop an agreed plan with clear actions to improve conditions for freight operators, customers and Londoners alike.

'We recognise that this is a first step of a longer journey and welcome the opportunity over coming months to further refine and develop the many proposals that are outlined in this consultation document.'

Vital to economy

Tim Hockney, Director of Transport at London First, said: 'As delivery and servicing vehicles cover nearly five times more miles than buses and coaches in central London, we warmly welcome the increasing focus that is being given to this important group of road users, who are vital to making London's economy work.'

Alistair McKay, Chairman of the London Retail Consortium, said: 'This plan identifies a range of initiatives and could be a significant step towards improving the movement of freight in the Capital. Deliveries are retailers' lifeblood and, across the UK, freight has long been the Cinderella of transport policy. We will continue to work with TfL to ensure this plan delivers.'

The 12-week consultation ends on 5 September. The plan can be viewed and a questionnaire completed on-line at . A final version of the plan will be released by December.

  • Gordon Telling can be contacted at the FTA on 01892 552205.