BY YANN TEAR
Hammersmith BID – the umbrella group for businesses in the area – has signed up to a project run by Transport for London (TfL) to cut down on air pollution.
The west London group is one of five in the capital earmarked to receive part of a £170,000 fund set aside by TfL for schemes which will make goods deliveries more efficient, reduce congestion and enable more employees to walk or cycle to work.
The plans are in keeping with the Mayor of London’s stated aim to cut the number of lorries and vans entering central London by 10 per cent by 2026. The funding from TfL’s Healthy Streets Fund for Business will be matched by the business groups themselves.
TfL says it will work closely with all successful applicants and share lessons learned with businesses across the capital to help support further business-driven change.
In Hammersmith, a new freight hub will enable businesses to receive and sort more deliveries at the single location – although where this will be has yet to be announced.
This will reduce the number of freight vehicles needed to service the area, particularly at peak times – the idea being that goods brought in can then be broken up and delivered in smaller electrical vehicles or bikes. TfL is setting aside £50,000 for the project, with Hammersmith BID putting up an equal amount.
Two of the five other schemes are in central London. In the iconic Hatton Garden jewellery area, investment will reduce the number of freight vehicle movements by installing a waste consolidation centre and appointing a preferred collection company.
In Aldgate, the plan is to make historic Petticoat Lane Market become greener and more efficient by installing new compactor machines at a single point to process waste generated by the market.
That should reduce the number of waste freight movements and keep the local area clean and tidy. Other schemes are in Bermondsey and Streatham.
Goods vehicle movements in the capital have increased by around 20 per cent since 2010 and this contributes to poor air quality, congestion and road danger. Many freight movements are made in the morning peak, when numbers of people walking and cycling are at their highest.
The Mayor and TfL are also aiming for 80 per cent of journeys in London to be made by walking, cycling and public transport by 2041.
The five schemes will help businesses adapt to the newly-established Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) by enabling them to switch to cleaner alternatives and reduce their use of vans, lorries and other motor vehicles.
Currently, lorries and vans account for around one fifth of road traffic in London and about one third in central London during the morning peak. Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: “We have no option but to be smarter in how our streets work.
With London’s population growing, congestion is not only costly and inefficient for businesses, but has a damaging knock-on effect on air quality and our environment.
“I’m delighted that this funding will not only support innovative projects that reduce the impact of the growing number of deliveries and collections, but also enable more employees to walk and cycle to work.
Working with businesses, the roll-out of these schemes will keep our city moving, helping improve health and quality of life for everyone.”
Hammersmith BID director Patricia Bench said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding which will help us achieve our objectives to reduce the number of, and emissions from, freight and goods vehicles in our town centre.
We look forward to working together with TfL and our partners to achieve these goals.”