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Review of the scheme

About the review

London Councils is reviewing the London Lorry Control Scheme to assess its effectiveness, including consideration of its impact on freight operators, businesses and the benefits to London’s residents.

We are looking at how freight is managed, evaluating how the scheme can help to reduce congestion and ensure that noise pollution continues to be kept at a minimum in residential areas during the operational hours of the scheme.

The review covers such aspects as routing, signing, hours of operation, the excluded route network and the restricted roads network, enforcement, permissions and exemptions. We are considering the advances in HGV design, as well as new and emerging traffic management and planning technologies.

The review aims to ensure that the scheme continues to provide essential environmental benefits and protection for Londoners, whilst playing an integral role with other existing and emerging freight and environmental management initiatives.

A Steering Group has been established to provide a strategic overview of the work of the review and is supported by a Working Group made up of a range of key stakeholders, including those representing resident, highway authority and freight operator interests.

Recommendations made to committee

On 15 June 2017, London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) considered the key findings of the review and agreed a set of recommendations under three main areas: Awareness and Communication, Technology, Enforcement and Administration of the scheme. A summary of the recommendations can be found below or you can read the full report that went to our Transport and Environment Committee.


If you have any questions about the review please contact [email protected] (020 7934 9647)

Summary of the recommendations

These findings were presented in a report that went to our Transport and Environment Committee on 15 June 2017.

Awareness and Communication:
Engagement with all stakeholders highlighted that there were concerns about the level of general awareness and understanding of the scheme with businesses, residents and freight operates alike. The scheme is still often thought of as a “ban” amongst freight operators, although the scheme is not intended to prevent any necessary freight operations from being completed. Poor levels of understanding about the scheme’s purpose, benefits and rules make the scheme unpopular with the freight industry, sometimes influencing their operations unnecessarily and is having an impact on compliance. More therefore needs to be done to publicise the scheme to raise awareness and understanding of its purpose, benefits and rules. However, the level of feedback from the freight industry about how the scheme impacts their business operations, does demonstrate that the scheme does remain effective at reducing the number of journeys by the largest vehicles along residential streets overnight and at weekends.

Technology:
The review considered how existing and modern technologies might improve the operation of the scheme. This included discussions about how the development of “noise standards” for vehicle and infrastructure design could transform the way the scheme operates, encouraging good behaviour rather than punishing bad – “more carrot than stick”. The growing use and demand for apps, online portals, route planning tools and satellite navigation devices suggested much scope for technological improvements for the scheme too. The current, largely manual, enforcement practices could be updated to achieve efficiencies and improve compliance through the possible use of CCTV and ANPR technology.

Enforcement:
As well as the enforcement practice itself, this area of the review looked at the actual scheme restrictions in terms of the restricted routes, hours of control, the weight limit, traffic signs and vehicle exemptions. There is support from stakeholders (particularly freight operators and businesses) for the restricted routes, weight limit and hours of control to be reassessed, particularly in line with the advancements in vehicle design and serving the needs and demands of London’s growing 24/7 economy.

Administration:
The day-to-day administration of the scheme was of particular concern to freight operators as it has direct impact on them and their business operations. Stakeholders helped identify several areas for possible improvement to current administrative processes that would help achieve efficiencies for them and London Councils. Administrative improvements could also lead to better scheme compliance and further savings for companies as they avoid the cost of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

Engagement and consultation activities

We consulted with the freight industry through an online survey in February 2017 and held an 'Operators Workshop' dedicated to the review on 9 March 2017. The presentations made by speakers at the Operators' Workshop can be found below.  

In early May 2017, we invited council officers to respond to an online survey about the scheme and the effect it has on their residents. In addition to this, a London Freight Borough Officer Liaison Group Workshop was held on 12 May 2017.

Click on the links below to download PDFs of the presentations made at the Operators' Workshop:

About London Councils and the history of the London Lorry Control Scheme

Summary of the results of the online survey of operators (conducted in Februrary 2017)

Presentation by the Noise Abatement Society

Presentation on re-timing

Future activity

To get a more balanced view before any significant changes to the scheme can be considered fully, wider resident engagement will be required. Bearing in mind the sheer scale of a London-wide public consultation and the current low levels of public awareness about the scheme, it is felt that undertaking wider public consultation would not be constructive at this stage.

To date, the views of the public and residents have been represented by resident, borough and London Councils’ representatives involved with the review through the Working Group. Any significant changes to the scheme and its associated traffic management order will be subject to a full public consultation and further approval by London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee (TEC).