Funding to help businesses tackle congestion and poor air quality on London’s high streets

26 April 2019
"Working with businesses, the roll out of these schemes will keep our city moving, helping improve health and quality of life for everyone"

TfL has today announced that five business groups across London will be offered a share of £170,000 of funding for innovative projects that will reduce traffic, ease congestion and improve air quality.

This follows on from the Mayor’s recent Freight and Servicing Action Plan and the Walking and Cycling Action Plans published last year.

The funding from TfL’s Healthy Streets Fund for Business will be matched by the business groups themselves. For the first time, funding is being awarded to business groups to enable employees to walk and cycle to work.

TfL will work closely with all successful applicants and share lessons learned with businesses across the capital to help support further business-driven change.

Deliveries and servicing are vital to London’s economy. However, goods vehicle movements in the capital have increased by around 20% since 2010 and this contributes to poor air quality, congestion and road danger.

Many freight movements are made in the morning peak, when numbers of people walking and cycling are at their highest.

Vital to London

The five new schemes being joint funded by TfL will include schemes to enable cycle freight, enable people to cycle to work and reduce freight vehicle movements on the roads.

Schemes offered part of the £170,000 funding include:

  • In Aldgate, investment will help the historic Petticoat Lane Market become greener and more efficient. Waste generated by the market will be taken to new compactor machines at a single collection point, reducing the number of waste freight movements and keeping the local area clean and tidy
  • In Bermondsey, a scheme will enable more cycling at the Blue Marketplace by providing cargo bikes, storage spaces and other facilities to allow people to cycle to work. This will also allow traders to move more goods by bike
  • In Hammersmith, a new freight hub will enable businesses to receive and sort more deliveries at the single location. This will reduce the number of freight vehicles needed to service the area, particularly at peak times
  • In the iconic Hatton Garden jewellery area, investment will reduce the number of freight vehicle movements by installing a waste consolidation centre and appointing a preferred supplier for collection
  • In Streatham, a shared cargo bike scheme will enable small and medium sized independent businesses to replace cars and vans with cycle freight. The bike will be available to businesses in the area to use free of charge by using a booking app

A previous round of funding in September last year is helping six business groups across London achieve more efficient deliveries. One scheme created a waste consolidation centre in Better Bankside, which enabled participating businesses to reduce their nitrogen oxide emissions from waste collection by 97%.

Another is encouraging businesses in the Team London Bridge area switch to cycle freight. Data from previous rounds of funding is being used to target future investment in schemes which will have the greatest impact on congestion, air quality and road danger reduction.

Road danger reduction

As outlined in his Transport Strategy, the Mayor wants to work with the boroughs, businesses and the freight and servicing industry to reduce the adverse impacts of freight and service vehicles on the street network.

The Mayor aims to reduce the number of lorries and vans entering central London in the morning peak by 10% by 2026. The Mayor and TfL are also aiming for 80% of journeys in London to be made by walking, cycling and public transport by 2041.

The schemes will help businesses adapt to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) by enabling them to switch to cleaner alternatives and reducing their use of vans, lorries and other motor vehicles.

ULEZ was launched in central London on 8 April. From 25 October 2021, the ULEZ boundary will be extended to create a single larger zone bounded by the North and South Circular Roads.

Currently, lorries and vans account for around one fifth of road traffic in London and about one third in central London during the morning peak. As London grows, the volume of freight and servicing trips is also forecast to grow unless action is taken.

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: 'We have no option but to be smarter in how our streets work. With London's population growing, congestion is not only costly and inefficient for businesses, but has a damaging knock-on effect on air quality and our environment.

'I'm delighted that this funding will not only support innovative projects that reduce the impact of the growing number of deliveries and collections, but also enable more employees to walk and cycle to work.

'Working with businesses, the roll out of these schemes will keep our city moving, helping improve health and quality of life for everyone.'

Emily Herreras-Griffiths, TfL’s Travel Demand Management Programme Director, said: 'We’ve seen from our work with businesses across the capital the value that small changes to the way that deliveries and other services are made can bring.

'Using the same suppliers as your neighbour and embracing alternatives such as cycle freight can cut congestion, clean up our air and save money. We’re really pleased to be working with these business groups to invest in areas across London.

'Our work will help us to create and maintain clean, welcoming and safe streets in which business can thrive while contributing to the capital’s continued growth.'

More efficient

Ian Mulcahey, Chair of The Aldgate Partnership and MD of Gensler, said: “We are thrilled to be included in this latest round of funding. The Mayor’s commitment to reducing air pollution goes beyond just funding schemes, but to improve communities and the environment for all of those living, working and visiting London.  The challenge is to ensure the long sustainability of the city with continuous improvement in air quality.   


The historic street market at Petticoat Lane in Aldgate is a much loved market by the local community. The long-term aspiration for the Aldgate project is to reduce the rubbish on the street making waste servicing more efficient and to encourage traders and businesses to be more aware of their impact creating a more sustainable market environment.”

Jack Shah, Chair of Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District, said: 'This is fantastic news for businesses at the Blue. This funding from TfL will be used to improve business cycling, including a shared cargo bike trial at the Blue, as well as better storage for market traders.

'Longer term, there is a huge opportunity for new cycle routes at the Blue which could link up along the Low Line with other areas such as London Bridge and Bankside.

'Business cargo bikes could use these routes for last mile zero emissions deliveries during weekday daytimes, to help reduce air pollution for our local communities.

'Residents and visitors could also enjoy cycling along the Low Line in the evenings and at weekends, bringing new customers to businesses at the Blue.'

Patricia Bench, Hammersmith BID Director, said: 'We are delighted to have been awarded this funding which will help us achieve our objectives to reduce the number of, and emissions from, freight and goods vehicles in our town centre. We look forward to working together with TfL and our partners to achieve these goals.'

Louise Abbotts, BID Manager at InStreatham, said: 'We are a high road of independent businesses who are passionate about improving air quality and growing the offer for our local customers.

'InStreatham BID is therefore delighted to have been chosen for support from the Healthy Streets Fund for Business to help to deliver our ambitions of providing alternative ways for customers to get their goods in Streatham.

'The shared cargo bike scheme will offer businesses choice for making local deliveries and hopefully influence the ways in which customers travel to the High Road to make bulk purchases.'

Mayor's Transport Strategy

TfL’s work with businesses and the freight industry is a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, which puts Londoners, and their health, at the heart of all decision making.

Demand from businesses drives many freight and servicing trips and TfL’s approach will help businesses make a real difference to their local areas.

For the past five years, TfL has also worked on a number of other schemes with more than 500 leading businesses and fleet operators to identify effective and cost-efficient ways to receive and make deliveries.

This includes toolkits and guidance, which have helped businesses rethink how and when they receive freight and servicing trips, including moving goods by bike or by boat.

To further reduce road danger, TfL has also developed the world’s first Direct Vision Standard, which rates HGVs based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab windows. HGV blind spots are a major contributory factor in fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians.

The Standard focuses on the visibility from a driver’s cab, directly tackling blind spots, and uses a ratings system to make sure that only vehicles suitable for the urban environment can use London’s roads. The first permits under the system will be issued later this year.

Notes to editors:

  • TfL’s freight and servicing toolkits for businesses are available at
  • The full range of toolkits available to businesses includes:
    • TfL’s Personal Deliveries and Waste Consolidation Toolkits which can help businesses reduce the deliveries and servicing trips
    • TfL’s Retiming Toolkit, which encourages businesses to think about retiming their deliveries and servicing trips. So far, the toolkit has removed more than 160,000 deliveries annually from peak times to less congested times
    • The Water Freight Toolkit highlights the options for transporting freight by boat, showing wharves and jetties along the Thames and London’s canal system which are suitable for freight