The Noise Abatement Society (NAS) along with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Freight Traffic Association (FTA) have pioneered a scheme which will enable HGVs and other vehicles to make deliveries to supermarkets and other retailers during night time hours or in the early morning – without causing any disturbance to local residents or to the general public who are already disturbed by regular and often noisy deliveries.
Current delivery restrictions and curfews mean that lorries have to make deliveries during peak hours when there is most competition for road space, adding to traffic congestion, carbon emissions and noise. Large vehicles on the roads during peak hours also increase road safety risks for the more vulnerable road users, such as school children and cyclists.
Lower carbon footprint
The advantages of taking these large vehicles off the road during peak hours are many and varied. It will undoubtedly reduce congestion and save the lives of many road users; during off peak hours when the roads are much quieter, journeys wil be quicker which in turn means the vehicles will use less fuel, which in turn means a lower carbon footprint and better air quality. From the point of view of the retailer out of hours delivery means that the deliveries will be more reliable, which means that the shelves will be stocked in time for opening, which will ultimately lead to better customer satisfaction.
However before these out of hours deliveries can be successfully embedded, trials have been taking place across England to ensure that residents are not disturbed by the curfew relaxation – the curfews will have been put in place by the Local Authority to protect residents from noise and other nuisance during the late evening and early morning. The retailers that want out of hours deliveries will be required to work in close cooperation with the Local Authority to agree the conditions under which the authority would be prepared to relax the curfews. The retailers will also bear any costs required to make the necessary changes, such as buying new quieter products, improving delivery yards and training staff. During a trial, if there are any disturbances to the already sensitised residents, then the trial will be discontinued.
QDDS 2011 Results
The results from the demonstration schemes are overwhelmingly positive, and show that by using quieter technologies and methodologies, deliveries can be made at slightly altered times which improve vehicle turnaround and fuel-efficiency without causing adverse impacts on the local community.
Full details of the trials are available here