Demand management for goods vehicles policy area

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About this policy

Principle

Shift travel to more sustainable modes: public transport, walking, and cycling, and away from car use.

Purpose

Measures to decrease the use of certain goods vehicles and/or at certain times and/or in certain locations.

Policy statement

Goods vehicles cover a range of vehicles from delivery vans to the largest articulated lorries. Between them, they accounted for over 20% of the traffic on Surrey's roads in 2019. They play an important role in Surreys economy and the wider regional and national economy. However, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) also have a significant impact on Surrey's environment and people through their carbon emissions, congestion and road maintenance costs, noise and air pollution, road safety effect and severance impact, deterring use of active travel and personal mobility options on our roads.

Measures to make a fairer comparison between private motor vehicles and more sustainable travel modes, such as active travel and public transport (as described under Policy Area Demand Management for Cars) would mean that operators of these vehicles would be making a greater contribution to reflect their impacts, particularly at certain times of the day or in sensitive locations. Alternatively, operators could avoid those costs by becoming more efficient, for example through freight planning and consolidation, use of alternatively fuelled vehicles, or use of environmentally friendly last mile solutions such as e-cargo bikes. Other measures could include freight bans on certain roads, and greater controls over delivery times.

Measures

Introducing delivery restrictions and consolidation

We will work with partners, including representatives of the freight industry, to consider delivery restrictions including delivery bans or restricted time deliveries in central urban areas. Approaches could potentially include charges for entering central zones and restrictions varying according to vehicle size and emissions, as applied in Clean Air Zones, such as the one recently launched in Birmingham.

To minimise the economic effect of these measures we will also support the development of consolidation centres near to towns. These will allow deliveries from different sources to be combined for onward delivery.

To increase the benefits of consolidation, we will support the use of smaller, more efficient vehicles such as electric vans or e-cargo bikes or potentially, drones for the last leg of journeys (from consolidation centres).

In residential areas, we will support the development of delivery hubs at easily accessible locations (such as at mobility hubs) to consolidate home deliveries and reduce the number of failed deliveries. We will support the use of e-cargo bikes for the last leg of the journey.

We will support consolidation of loads over longer distance to reduce the overall amount of goods vehicle traffic. For instance, consolidation of procurement amongst organisations that are located close together helps to reduce delivery trips.

Altering traffic routing, speeds and priority

In the context of our new Surrey Street Family and Healthy Streets framework , we will use traffic calming, access limitation, and 20 mph zones to deter through goods vehicle traffic on sensitive roads and roads that are prioritised for active modes, personal mobility and social interaction.

This will build on our existing measures to route goods vehicles along appropriate roads and away from sensitive ones wherever possible. These include weight restrictions which will be covered by our new 'Surrey HGV Watch' HGV weight restriction enforcement policy. We will train, co-ordinate and communicate with volunteer groups and HGV operators to improve awareness and compliance. Local communities will be empowered to monitor compliance with restrictions, so that the police and council services available for this issue can be efficiently used, for instance targeting repeat offenders.

Engaging with eco levy (pay as you drive) developments

As for cars, a further demand management option that we need to consider is an eco levy (or pay as you drive charge) where goods vehicles would pay per kilometre of travel, see Policy Area Demand Management for Cars.

This is a clear way for those benefiting from goods vehicles journeys to pay for the cost that they impose on wider society, and for that cost to inform decision making. For instance, an eco levy may encourage load consolidation, more efficient route planning and potentially mode switching where options exist.

Charging would be most effective if applied across all roads and most successful if applied as a national system. National charging has recently been raised, particularly in relation to the need to replace fuel duty as petrol and diesel sales reduce. Transport for South East also raised the need for its consideration in their recent Transport Strategy. We will engage with other local authorities, TfSE and government to understand and inform developments on this issue.


Contribution to LTP4 objectives

Net zero carbon emissions: Improving management of goods vehicles will reduce carbon emissions by:

  • Reducing vehicle kilometres travelled by encouraging consolidation of loads and further planning of routes and, in some cases, mode shift to rail. This will reduce the number of trips made and the distance travelled
  • Transferring goods to lower emissions vehicles for the last legs of their journeys, for instance electric vans, e-Cargo bikes or Cargo bikes.

Management of goods vehicle routing will also have the secondary effect of reducing emissions by improving conditions for walking and cycling and in turn encouraging people to change mode.

Revenue from any charges would help fund improvements for other policy areas, helping to strengthen alternatives to car travel and increasing mode shift to more sustainable transport modes, reducing emissions per passenger kilometre travelled.

Sustainable growth: Demand and delivery management for goods vehicles will bring benefits for many of Surrey's businesses through reductions in congestion and improvements in reliability and journey time. Other businesses in central areas will benefit from additional custom as areas become more attractive environments to visit and spend time in as a result of a reduction in heavy goods vehicle traffic. Businesses using consolidation centres may also benefit from efficiency improvements in the medium term as their transport costs are reduced.

However, for some businesses the costs of any charging and the short-term disruption caused by delivery management may bring an overall disbenefit in the short term as transport patterns change in response to measures. The measures will be implemented as part of all of the wider LTP4 Policy Areas, which will have a positive impact on sustainable growth. The revenue from demand management will also fund some of the beneficial measures discussed under other Policy Areas, such as provision for active modes including e-cargo bikes for local or last-mile deliveries.

Well-connected communities: Removing larger delivery vehicles from communities and the local road network will achieve safer, more attractive walking and cycling environments and will reduce the severance caused by roads that are made hard to cross by large vehicles and congestion. This will particularly benefit households without access to a car.

Clean air and excellent quality of life: Measures to ensure that goods vehicles use appropriate routes and avoid sensitive areas (such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest) and residential communities, will reduce the impacts on residents and contribute to more attractive built and natural environments. Reduced goods vehicles movements through local streets will improve local air quality, noise levels and road safety. The reduction in traffic and congestion will also create a more attractive, safer local environment for walking, cycling, socialising, and playing. This will broaden travel choices for residents and provide opportunities for residents to improve their health and wellbeing through using active modes with confidence.


Delivery

We will work with partners including the Districts and Boroughs and Transport for the South East (TfSE) to manage the impacts of goods vehicles on our roads. This is likely to include changes to delivery restrictions and the introduction of consolidation and electric delivery vehicles for the last legs of deliveries. We will continue to influence routing of goods vehicles, using weight restrictions and measures such as traffic calming, implemented in the context of our new Surrey Street Family and Healthy Streets framework . We will also consider the case for an eco levy (or pay as you drive charge), although this is most likely to be introduced at a national level.

We will build on best practice and lessons from established schemes such as consolidation centres like the Sustainable Distribution Centre near Southampton and from trials such as the ongoing scheme to allow organisations in Southampton and Eastleigh to trial e-cargo bikes for deliveries.

National actions, particularly around future heavy goods vehicle types (such as hydrogen or electric vehicles), will have the greatest implications for freight emissions.


Policy context

Locally:

  • Community Vision for 2030: 'Residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities.' ; 'Journeys across the county are easier, more predictable and safer.'
  • Transport for the South East (TfSE) Transport Strategy: raises the need to consider a regional eco levy (pay as you go charge) for car use.
  • Surrey "HGV Watch" scheme: Surrey's HGV Weight Restriction and Enforcement Policy that helps enforce HGV weight restrictions and encourages residents to be proactive in their local areas in working with the council and the police in tackling the environmental impacts that inappropriate HGV movements have on our communities.

Nationally:

  • Transport Decarbonisation Plan: Outlines the government's plans for delivering a zero emission freight and logistics sector, including the development and deployment or clean technologies and the use of more sustainable forms of transport including cargo bikes and rail.
  • Net Zero Review: Interim Report: HM Treasury report into the costs of achieving net zero carbon emissions. Reports that the Treasury will lose £30bn revenue annually from fuel tax as a result of switch to EVs and advises that road user charging may be required to recoup some of this lost revenue.
  • Traffic Management Act, 2004: Guidance outlining the Council's network management duty and relevant powers and responsibilities. The guidance sets out high-level principles to help local authorities to manage their roads and what actions they should take.