A new five year clean vehicle programme was launched this week at Freight in the City which is so new that it doesn’t even have a name yet.
What we do know is that budget has been secured which will see the initiative run for at least the next half a decade from 2016, and that it will focus on increasing the uptake of alternative fuel vehicles in London.
Presenting to the packed seminar room, Venn Chesterton, an expert from Transport and Travel Research Ltd (TTR) outlined the plans agreed with Transport for London (TFL), which will see new incentives put in place.
While action will be taken to improve the cleanliness of the fleet of London buses and TFL’s fleet of more than 1,000 commercial vehicles, the onus for this scheme will be on reaching fleet operators and single vehicle operators who are moving freight through the city. Currently more than £200bn of freight is moved through Central London each year.
According to Chesterton the programme specifics are still taking shape, but he did tell the audience that there are three core considerations when it comes to reducing the impact of freight vehicles on air quality and that this new scheme would specifically focus on one of those.
- Avoid freight trips in the first place where they are unnecessary
- Use the correct vehicles when freight does need to be moved
- Make sure the vehicles that are being used are operated efficiently
Whilst the third of these steps is more in line with our particular set of expertise at Microlise, this new initiative for London will focus entirely on the second, aimed at reducing emissions and improving air quality.
During the presentation Venn identified that smaller fleets and single vehicle operators may prove harder to reach, than larger operators. Therefore it stands to reason that funding will be accessible not just for the larger players, but also smaller business owners.
There will be a kick-off event in January, at which point the scheme will likely have been named. Working groups have already been scheduled to begin in March 2016. We recommend staying tuned for more information on this as it could prove very useful.