HGVs are a major contributor of pollution displaced on all road networks. The long term impacts, especially from Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter are the cause for over 60,000 deaths each year in the UK. In London, during 2014/15 HGVs were involved in 25% & 60% of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities respectively, therefore HGVs are also a key focus for Transport for London (TfL) from a road safety perspective.
The Development Impact Assessment Team (DIAT) at TfL has identified construction practices that adversely impact the highway environment. If deliveries are not managed correctly vehicles often queue outside work sites, or are sent on repeated loops causing increased congestion, delay, fuel waste, running costs, pollution, driver stress and safety issues. Surveys have shown some sites experience looping between 10 and 20 times per day. Holding vehicles on route to site can reduce these impacts but sourcing facilities is challenging. The DIAT has been assisting developers with implementing holding areas to improve efficiency.
There are often opportunities to source facilities in the wider area by assessing existing parking and road capacity that will advantage HGV routing and supply rest areas if sites experience bottlenecks. Timescales include:
- Road network investigation and surveys: three to four weeks
- Facility assessment (including a safety audit): up to 30 days.
- Remedial works e.g. island removal: dependant on work required.
- Red route suspensions: approx. eight weeks.
These methods can be implemented nationally and the benefits of reduced HGV activities are recognised by all impacted stakeholders.