Night Time is the Right Time for Deliveries

Leading trade association, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and UK charity the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) have teamed up to make night time deliveries easier while minimising the impact of noise and air quality on local residents.

Night time deliveries represent a cost-effective way to improve delivery reliability, reduce road congestion and, subsequently, reduce the impact of air pollution in urban areas. FTA and NAS have developed robust guidelines and processes that will make efficient night time deliveries achievable for local authorities across the UK.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Policy Manager leading on this issue, said:

“We are really pleased to be working closely with the Noise Abatement Society to achieve sensible savings in journeys, emissions and costs through night-time deliveries.

“Retailers don’t want to disturb residents and by providing real solutions we have come up with more than just a compromise – we are working to show that journey times, fuel economy and air quality, as well as stock turnaround, can be improved without affecting local residents’ right to a good night’s sleep.

“We look forward to developing the concept of sustainable out-of-hours deliveries further with NAS and the wider adoption of such schemes.”

A three-month night time trial was undertaken at a large supermarket in Wandsworth in late 2007. Utilising NAS’ Silent Approach(TM) programme and the FTA’s toolkit/guidance/best practice, Delivering the Goods, the project showed that decibel levels, journey times, delivery costs and CO2 emissions were reduced and no noise-related complaints were made by local residents.

Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, Noise Abatement Society, said:

“Protecting the rights of local residents is of paramount importance.  Anticipating the inevitability of the extension of delivery hours as a result of chronic congestion in our towns and cities, introducing quiet delivery practices now, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring ensures that the public will be protected throughout. Given the significant health and environmental gains to be made, it is critical to establish feasible and sustainable out of hours delivery practices. Doing so will also lessen daytime disturbance and enable quieter deliveries to become accepted as the norm.”

The work done by FTA and NAS shows that industry can collaborate with social action groups to find practical solutions to noise problems. It is hoped that Noise Action Week, which runs from 18 to 22 May, will push the issue of noise awareness further up the political and social agenda.

Notes to editors

1. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by FTA and the NAS on 13 May 2009.

2. Night time deliveries concern produce delivered to supermarkets and other outlets between midnight and 07.00.

3. Some of the key solutions and procedures identified by FTA and NAS to reduce noise during night-time deliveries include driver and staff training, the use of rubber matting and dock curtains and a strict roll cage, door and radio noise policy.

4. For a briefing pack on The Silent Approach™ trial in Wandsworth Borough Council please contact FTA on 01892 552255.

5. The Dutch Government first embarked on finding a standard for quiet delivery vehicles and equipment in 1999 and developed the PIEK certification scheme. For more information please contact NAS, licensed in the UK to award PIEK accreditation.

6. Established in 1959, the Noise Abatement Society, Registered Charity number 272040, operates in the UK and abroad to campaign, educate and develop programmes to aid the abatement of excessive and unnecessary noise and related pollutants such as CO2 emissions and air quality degradants from whatever source, for the benefit of all.

For further information please contact:
Noise Abatement Society’s press office on 01273 823 850 or email at press@noise-abatement.org
For further information please contact FTA’s media team on 01892 552255 or, out of hours, on 07818 450425

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