TfL LoCITY ‘clean air freight for central London’

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Virtual round table rich in operators talking cargo cycle and EV for London deliveries.



Carl Lomas chaired the TfL LoCITYvirtual round table with interaction of online applause. The meeting was rich in operators, the first post-election meeting with Sadiq Khan back in the chair of Mayor of London. DPD, Olly Craughan talking big electric final mile van orders and free clean air data from Project BREATHE. Rob Scott GLH and Stuart Godman spoke Cargo cycles. ‘Some parcel drivers are swapping vans to cargo cycles.’ Helen Fallon and Rhiannon Ford spoke GLA context and 2025 contracts for clean air delivery. Nick Bithell Knights of Old asked the heavy vehicle operators readiness for ULEZ Oct 25th extension. Carl Christie from CENEX showcased the alternative fuel vehicle finder and Dr Andy Neather at TfL closed with LoCITY vision for the future clean air freight challenges ahead.

Introductions by Carl Lomas as LoCITY light vehicle chairman,

‘The LoCITY group represents both light and heavy alternative fuel vehicles. Lockdown has undoubtedly changed transport retail interaction for ever, 2019 25 billion items of mail, parcel food and meal delivered to the door, 2020 moves to 40 billion items. Speaking for light vehicles, the key issues are the business case for purchase and the infrastructure to charge. Most Electric vans return to depot for charge but the big ask is to find charge solutions for van drivers at home, London van drivers often have no off-street parking. The business case remains challenged for owner van drivers to purchase an electric van, prices remain high. Whole life prices show promise, but the reality is delivery miles are fairly low for vans delivering Central London. The Westminster Univ case study found vans drove as few as half a dozen miles in the West End while the drivers walked as far as the vans drove.’ Another key factor for light vehicle parcels is we almost always out volume weight. I was delighted to be in Vienna to see parking grids for van cycle consolidation, safe parking areas for vans to feed cycles and cargo cycles on a local basis. With cargo cycles in mind I have asked GLH boss Rob Scott to talk to us about his growing cargo cycle fleet……..

GLH: Rob Scott on expanding the GLH cargo cycle fleet in London.

Rob opened with context on the changing nature of delivery miles in London, ‘pre-lockdown business to business, office to office delivery has changed to longer distance office to home worker. The distance of deliveries has changed.’ Rob went on to talk about building a GLH fleet of Cargo cycles for central London, growing rapidly for a single cargo cycle trial. ‘Cargo cycles are excellent in their sphere of cycle lane access. They win in limited road space and congestion charge zones. At GLH we also have some van drivers who have made their personal ownership step to move from van to cargo-cycle.’ Rob asked TfL, ‘Will electric e-scooters be permitted into the cycle lanes?’

Stuart Godman from Absolutely supported the cargo cycle expansion vision,

‘We are operating 25 cargo bikes from our dedicated WC1 cargo cycle hub alongside more than fo cycle couriers in the same area.’

TfL keynote: Helen Fallon, Principal City Planner, TfL,

“Supporting the Mayor’s Transport Strategy through the GLA supply chain. Helen set the context, ‘Estimated 9,400 premature deaths due to air pollution each year in London. GLA group spends approximately nine billion pounds each year. There are around eleven thousand suppliers and many more sub-contractors. Freight vehicles are responsible for 23% of London’s road related CO2 emission. There are aprox a thousand monthly deliveries made to Palester (2017 data). There are 102 fire stations, 180 police stations and 270 underground stations across London.

Rhiannon Ford TfL expanded,

‘All relevant contracts under 3.5 tonnes to be zero emission for GLA by 2025.’ Last mile logistics in the supply chain measures support, consolidation centres and micro-distribution hubs. We are looking at land for logistics, we are looking at vehicle design for cycle and cargo cycle.


Next key note focused on the tools available to choose clean air vehicles.

CENEX: Carl Christie, Technical Specialist – Fleet Support, demo of the LoCity Commercial Vehicle Finder and Fleet Advice Tool.

Carl from CENEX opened with an update of real world EV van testing before moving on to the vehicle finder fleet advice tool. A tool to help advise fleet operators on alternative fuel vehicles, light and heavy vehicles across all propulsion from electric to bio fuel. Carl did a full run through of the tool with real world operating range, charge times and payloads to showcase the tool, adding cost breakdowns all the way to residual values. Vehicle photos brought very real world choice and had filters from cargo cycle all the way heavy 44 tonne and you can also look at new vehicles expected and coming to the market.

LoCITY heavy vehicle chair, Knights of Old Group: Nick Bithell –

‘how are operators doing with clean air HGVs for ULEZ expansion?’ ‘Nick opened passionately with the diary date ticking for ULEZ north and south circular. October 25th. My question to the operators is are you ready for the extended ULEZ on heavy vehicles? Are you EURO6 ready? Nick moved to introducing Olly Craughan from DPD to talk electric final mile both small and large vehicles in London.

DPD: Olly Craughan, Head of CSR:

Project BREATHE data is free to everyone

Our electric final mile for clean air London is across all vehicles.’

‘We have not ordered a diesel van this year for London.’

Olly spoke Westminster to Shoreditch in the arches for electric vans and QPark at Hyde Park Corner. By geographic location the most expensive DPD depots in the UK. Each site doing three to four thousand parcels a day, zero emission all electric into central London. Getting operator real world focus, Olly spoke range of vehicles form EAV PI and Paxster micro four wheelers to 500 Nissan e vans on fleet. Talking weight to volume Olly moved up to large vans and issues of getting right hand drive MAN ETGes. Jan 2020 149 EV in the UK, Today 700 electric vehicles with over 200 in London. By Dec 2021 pre peak we are aiming at 700 electric vehicles on the DPD fleet.

LDV Maxus 3.5t we have 500 ordered.

Our average parcel delivery miles are around fifty a day. We need to think whole mileage, home and back added to the delivery miles.

We have ordered a further 180 Nissan small van EVs.

This year we have not ordered a single diesel van.

DPD has announced the roll-out of a major new air quality monitoring programme across 6 of the biggest cities in the UK. Project BREATHE is live in London already with 100 mobile air quality sensors on the roof of DPD vans and 20 fixed units on DPD PickUp shops close to schools and play areas. By the end of May, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff will join the ground-breaking initiative, creating a network of over 400 sensors in total, delivering 1.5m pollution readings a day.

The sensors, which are the size of a broadband router, take readings every 12 seconds and are focused on the most critical health impactor, fine particles PM2.5 at breathing level, to provide real time data designed to help visualise the air quality issue and identify hotspots.

M2.5 refers to dangerous particles of pollution that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter. At 1/20th the width of a human hair, they lodge deep in lung tissue and are linked to many diseases including cancer and asthma. The UK roll-out is part of a Europe wide DPD programme in partnership with expert air quality tracking provider Pollutrack, with a planned total of 2,400 sensors across 20 European cities by the end of 2021. Once the sensors are installed and monitored for 2 months, DPD will provide air quality information based on real measurements, street by street via the Pollutrack AirDiag system for local councils to help in their policy making. The data will also be available to DPD customers and academics. DPD is an industry leader in sustainable delivery and already has over 800 electric vehicles on the road in the UK. In October 2020, DPD announced plans to deliver to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK with zero and low-emission delivery means by 2025.

Olly expanded, "BREATHE is a hugely significant project for us and complements our 2025 strategy to deliver via electric vehicles to 25 cities in the UK. We will be measuring air pollution using our existing city centre fleet and facilities. Typically, air quality monitoring has just been based on fixed positions, whereas we are mobile and cover the whole of a city at different times. We will be providing real-time, breathing level readings that could help improve air quality for millions of people. "The initial Covid lockdowns really highlighted the issue of air quality, as people got used to quieter roads and cities. We hope that local authorities, other key stakeholders and academics can utilise this data to help inform further research and local decision making. We are already working with the team behind the Birmingham Clean Air Zone and our data will play a key part in monitoring the real impact the zone makes, when it goes live on 1st June 2021."


Dr Andy Neather TfL, closed the LoCity event with thanks al round,

‘ LoCITY is a real vision for future with so many challenges ahead.’


Set your diary for the next LoCITY round table at ten am on Tuesday October 12th...

...and remember London ULEZ expansion is October 25th.




DPD LoCITY Presentation of all vehicles sizes in London – no diesel vans ordered this year.


2021 news may locity 02