Low emission vehicle interchange for delivery vehicles could be piloted in York

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A new pilot project could be introduced in York’s city centre to use low emission modes of transport to help improve air quality and congestion caused by delivery vehicles.

E-cargo bikes and ultra-low emission vehicles could be introduced for the first and last mile of deliveries to help address these issues.

City of York Council has been awarded £297,237 from the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Air Quality Grant Scheme to look at these measures.

If approved, an interchange or small consolidation centre would be created to hold goods, so there could be an exchange of goods and change of delivery mode, e.g. from van to e-cargo bike.

As part of the feasibility study, engagement will be undertaken with businesses and delivery companies operating in York, which will learn from companies who are already operating similar models.

Reducing deliveries from HGVs, LGVs and vans predominantly in York’s inner ring road, is expected to enable a reduction in associated emissions.

LGVs and HGVs currently make up approximately 14 per cent of the traffic flow on Gillygate and account for approximately 1,775 vehicle movements per day, within the current city centre York’s Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

Other additional benefits of reducing movements of HGVs, LGVs and vans especially within the city centre, will include improving pedestrian safety and a potential reduction in damage from such vehicles to historic monuments.

The fastest growing expansion of urban road vehicles are vans and LGV’s [Independent Transport Commission. 2017. How can we improve urban freight distribution in the UK? Challenges and solutions].

With deliveries also expected to increase there is a need to address HGV and LGV movements in the city. Given the tendency for HGV/LGV’s to be diesel vehicles, which emit NOx and PM, and with expected constraints on capacity for deliveries within York’s city centre, there is a need to identify how freight logistics can address these problems.

If approved by Councillors at an Executive meeting later this month, the funding from DEFRA will support a feasibility study and a pilot project, which will be contracted out through the council’s procurement process.

The project will allow the council to continue with delivery of its current Air Quality Action Plan and associated Low Emission Strategy.  This scheme will compliment other air quality improvement work streams, particularly the city centre Clean Air Zone

Officers will return to the Executive in Autumn 2021 with further information on further details of the pilot scheme.