Boris Johnson urges more ‘click and collect’ centres to reduce London congestion
4 February 2016
Boris Johnson has called for more "click and collect" hubs in residential areas, because deliveries of goods bought online to people's offices are exacerbating congestion on London's roads.
The Mayor of London said work must be done with freight companies to reduce the number of white vans on the city’s already busy roads.
He warned that hold-ups could rise by 60% over the next 15 years in central areas unless measures are taken to improve the road network.
Many office workers arrange for parcels to be sent to their place of work if they would not fit through their letterboxes at home.
Mr Johnson accepted that the system is “amazingly convenient” but warned that “it’s causing a problem we have to deal with”.
He said: “I was coming out of City Hall yesterday on my bike and I was in the loading bay and I looked at this mound of stuff that was being delivered to everybody.
“I thought what an incredible change there has been in habits. That is what is happening, people are getting stuff online, they’re getting it delivered to the office and they’re taking it home in the evening.
“It is unquestionably causing congestion because you’ve got so many deliveries now on the streets of London.
“We need to work with the operators to build up a more sensible system whereby click and collect stores and hubs are in people’s neighbourhoods.”
Transport bosses are examining the impact of potential measures to cut freight traffic, such as introducing a ban or charge for deliveries at certain times of day for LGVs and HGVs.
They estimate that the average delivery vehicle on London’s roads is only a third full.
Mr Johnson commented: “You’ve got to reduce freight and you’ve got to have a system where big trucks come in, dump the stuff in hubs and then smaller, more environmentally friendly vehicles are able to distribute it through the city in a more logical way.
“We have too many huge, heavy vehicles thundering through the streets without anything in them and we can sort that out.
“We also need to look at managing freight during peak hours and seeing what we can do with the freight operators to reduce that without doing damage to the London economy.”
It is not believed that any firm policy decisions on managing freight will be made before the end of Mr Johnson’s second term in May.