Delivering in urban areas in Somerset and further afield can be difficult due to traffic congestion. Of course, if you are stuck in traffic, you are traffic! Some major cities now have freight consolidation facilities on the edge of town. Goods and parcels are consigned to these facilities, and then smaller vehicles better suited to the urban area deliver to the final destination. This reduces the number of vehicles visiting any particular address. With internet next day deliveries now such a part of everyday life for many people and businesses, it is not unusual for workplaces to receive dozens of packages for staff via dozens of deliveries a day from many couriers. Freight consolidation greatly reduces the number of small diesel vans on urban streets, reducing pollution and congestion. Vans are one of the fastest growing elements of traffic.
At present the only freight and courier consolidation facility in Somerset serves the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station construction site.
As urban areas further restrict motor vehicle access to their central business districts, with some cities due to implement clean air zones, freight consolidation is likely to become more attractive for businesses. The Integrated Transport Commission examined the subject in some depth, and the Urban Transport Group produced this recent report which makes the case for distribution sites serving urban areas to be located so that it is practical for goods to travel the last mile(s) into
urban centres using zero/low emission modes.
Low emission vehicles
For local deliveries, can you avoid the use of diesel vans, by specifying low emission vehicles?
A recent development in the UK is cargo bikes. Some major courier companies are now using these for last mile delivery on the continent, and independent operators are springing up in this country, the nearest being in Exeter. There are many different types, often electrically assisted. A major study across Europe has established that cargo bike delivery is a viable and cost-effective option in urban areas. Government now has a fund available to assist businesses to make the switch to e-cargo bikes for local deliveries. Currently closed to new applications due to overwhelming demand, but watch out for new rounds.
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