With the imminent implementation of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2020, the transport industry has been given a helping hand in the form of Transport for London’s collaborative LoCity programme.
The impact of air pollution and traffic congestion affects everyone, but as all transport (including HGVs and small vans for courier loads) plays a part in the issue of London’s emissions, anyone with a vested interest in the commercial fleet sector has a responsibility to get involved in their mitigation and reduction.
TfL’s LoCity programme aims to “increase the availability and uptake of low emission commercial vehicles operating in London.”
Objectives of LoCity
The industry-led initiative’s objectives focus on bringing together fleet operators, manufacturers and infrastructure suppliers, to create a framework to ensure access to the right technology, tools and fuels to support the transition to compliance to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
Running over a five-year period, the programme has pledged to a number of objectives:
· To support fleet operators in the purchase of or upgrading to cleaner, greener commercial vehicles and/or to switch to using alternative fuels.
· To deliver health benefits to London’s residents by improving air quality in the UK capital.
· To assist the city in reaching its targets for reducing carbon monoxide emissions.
· To educate, support and prepare the freight and logistics industry for the upcoming implementation of ULEZ.
· To offer support for London’s ULEV (ultra low emission vehicle) Delivery Plan
The programme comprises three comprehensive workstreams in order to facilitate the success of its objectives.
· The first workstream focuses on both HGVs and light vehicles used to transport courier loads, to help increase the uptake of low emission commercial vehicles through affordability and availability.
· The second workstream focuses on the development of alternative supply chain and fuel infrastructure in order to increase the production and use of ‘cleaner’ commercial vehicles.
· The third workstream focuses on offering guidance for informed decision making in terms of planning and fleet procurement through clear, concise and ‘jargon free’ communication.
Working groups have been established for each of the above agendas and ongoing research is being carried out to identify the main barriers to the uptake of clean vehicles - which include cost (in particular, perceived increased cost), lack of choice and availability, and lack of supporting infrastructure.
An Industry Led Programme
From the outset, TfL has been at pains to point out that LoCity is not another accreditation scheme, and that the message from operators is that they need practical help in terms of identifying barriers and infrastructure issues. The collaborative approach of the programme has been designed with a longer-term vision to be able to link up with other existing industry schemes throughout the UK, so operators can be assured they are working to a ‘recognised standard’.
London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone is set to tackle the UK capital’s poor air quality head on in 2020, and it’s vital that the logistics sector is ready for compliance with the new emissions regulations. TfL’s programme was developed to be led by the industry itself, which they believe is an essential component in its success.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier loads in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,300 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.