Carl Lomas talks Express Logistics to London Road Safety Council LRSC

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‘Looking at two-wheel safety, asking for local EV charge, space for cargo bikes and consolidation parking areas in the boroughs

City of London Alderman Allison Gowman invited Lomas to talk express logistics, road safety, clean air and final mile delivery to the London Road Safety Council in their April meeting.

Lomas joined the LRSC virtual Zoom to a full house of London boroughs to talk road safety and the wide context of all things delivered to the door.

What is this thing we call express logistics? It’s not just courier. It’s all things home delivered from mail, food, meal, and parcel.

Lomas explained attracting next generation with the tale of a pineapple, multimodal logistics delivering around the world, on time and to your door, delivered free of charge.

Delivered to home numbers...

25 billion units UK wide in 2019. 40 billion units in 2020. How did we do that? density, congestion, and everyone in, first time every time KPIs outstanding.

The vehicles we delivered it with...

Walking parcel porter, mail trolley to cycle, motorcycle, cargo cycle, light van, large van, two persons.

Looking at the van numbers in the UK...

DfT van survey report for 2020 says 16% of vans do delivery work, 50% of vans are contractors, the number seems low! UK wide IOC sees 400 thousand vans in parcel delivery.

Final findings by DfT for Great Britain’s van keepers in 2019 to 2020 based on a survey of nineteen thousand say only 16% of vans collect and deliver goods. DfT key findings:-

1. the most common primary usage of licensed vans was for ‘carrying equipment, tools and materials’ (54%)

2. over half (57%) of business purchased vans were new

3. most privately kept vans were second-hand (82%)

5. around half of all vans (51%) in Great Britain stayed local, within 15 miles of their base, on a typical day

6. the most common primary usage of ultra-low emission vans was ‘carrying equipment, tools, materials’ (59%)


Speaking shift of style of shopping

Projection of retail shift from High Street to home delivery stepped forward five years during lockdown. No anticipation of e-retail to step back. e-retail is here to stay and remains in growth. Parcel number reality, DPD moved from 1 million to 2 million deliveries a night, similarly Hermes doubled from 2 million to 4 million deliveries a night. London has a rich same-day market, CitySprint is largest same-day courier in UK. Absolutely launched a new dedicated cargo cycle depot in WC1 this year. In London we have seen a strong shift from van and motorcycle to cycle and cargo cycle; it's clean and it's outside compliance. IOC worked with Catherine Dwyer, then at City of London to facilitate parking for cargo cycles.

Looking at the other key streams of express

Royal Mail, 16 billion items. Defining food, it’s not meal, it’s your shopping, the pineapple! Meal delivery exploded during lockdown, 5 billion meals to 7.5 billion meals and climbing. Real world look at takeaways in the City, they are surrounded by bicycle couriers. It’s very likely those same cycle couriers do parcel delivery outside of mealtimes.


We are getting reports from TfL of huge accident number change in PTWs, but no supporting data.

DfT official road safety figures for PTW have shown clear wins as safety that has improved UK wide. Official DfT most recent release figures for fatalities,


Cars 736 down 5%

Pedestrians 470 up 3%

PTW 336 down 5%

Cyclists 100 up 1%


From another lens of freight transport, DfT official weight of freight for heavy vehicles shows a downtrend. I believe we are seeing a road shift from warehouse and storage to a client chain driven by choice at purchase via sortation hub to door. The nature of freight transport, like shopping trend, it is shifting. Freight and goods transport is moving more locally.

Looking at CBT, the T is for training not test, the most shocking issue is scooter rider needs no proven knowledge of Highway Code to be legal on the road. Complete a CBT and you are out there. You do not have to pass your Highway Code test to ride legally on two wheels. IOC placed a code of conduct to fellows for a minimum position of Highway Code test.

On road signage I have an ask of your council, ‘we need standardisation of clean air signs, ZEZ and access. IOC looked at Barbican Beach Street, the ZEZ signs changed multiple times, even temporary yellow A boards, long text confusion. ‘We need standardisation of local clean air signage.’ I ask your council to review standardisation of clean air signage.


Finding charge for the delivery driver moving to electric.

Many vans return to depot to charge, but the majority of vans go home to the drivers address. They rarely have off-street parking and charge is a huge challenge. I ask you review local infrastructure to make home charge available and help drivers move from Euro6 to electric.

Cargo cycles are very clean final mile delivery, but where do you park them? Again, they can go back to depot, but that’s very inefficient for riders. I ask you review provision parking for cargo cycles.


My greatest ask to the LRSC is providing space to replenish - that is my next ask. Vienna has very effective cargo cycle consolidation parking bays. Van to bike, A cargo bike is soon emptied, sending that bike back to depot to replenish is a great waste. Vienna provides marked parking grids; a van enters the grid and unloads to the cargo cycles to restock and carry on locally.