Freight traffic accounts for around one third of all traffic in Central London during the A.M. peak with LGV traffic having grown by 13% between 2012 and 2016 across the capital. With commercial space at a premium and with consumer pressure driving ever more responsive supply chains, it is little wonder that so much congestion in Central London is caused by freight-related activity.
Owing to their common servicing requirements, many businesses have started to come together to implement consolidated delivery and waste collection schemes in a bid to reduce the number of freight trips required to service their area, reducing congestion and releasing some of the growing pressure on kerbside space. Such schemes are now in place on Regent Street, Baker Street and Bond Street and are often initiated through Business Improvement District (BID) partnerships.
The recycling scheme on Baker Street – an area-wide waste and recycling scheme called ‘Smarter Recycling’ – was set up by BakerStreetQ – the local BID – in 2013. To date, 65 businesses are signed up to use a common provider with a further 30 businesses in the process of signing up. Alongside Smarter Recycling is a scheme called ‘Smarter Deliveries’ which consolidates servicing trips to multi-tenant buildings and hotels. The project aims for a 50% reduction in deliveries made to these buildings with a stretch target of a 75% to 80% reduction in vehicle movements; although the scheme is still young.
Smarter Recycling has so far resulted in a 12% reduction in waste vehicle movements in the Baker Street area, while the rate of recycling has also increased with an estimated 2640 tonnes diverted from landfill resulting in a 1740 tonne carbon saving.
Meanwhile, the Regent Street scheme, which has 21 participating retailers, has seen a remarkable 80% reduction in the number of retail-associated HGV movements, while the Bond Street Commercial Vehicle Reduction Scheme – which has 81% of all retailers and 66% of all businesses on Bond Street on-board – has cut the number of waste collection service providers from 47 to just 5 under phase one of the scheme. Phase two, which will focus on rationalising the 55 separate delivery companies will begin soon.
Sources: Arup (2018), Baker Street Two Way (2018), New West End Company (2016)