Highways Voices 6 March - Greener and more efficient deliveries in Westminster thanks to kerbside management

Highways Voices

Mar 5 2024 • 23 mins

This week on Highways Voices we hear how technology is ending the delivery driver free for all as we see a new kerbside management scheme in Westminster.

We’re at the site of one of two loading bays in Westminster which Electric Vehicle delivery drivers can book using a new online booking system from Grid Smarter Cities, reducing battery consumption and removing the stress having to drive around finding a place to unload, or having to park illegally.

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“There’s huge competition for kerbside space,” explains Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, who is Westminster Council’s Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality.  “We recognise more than 40 different users of the kerb, and it’s impossible to keep up unless we are on top of it 24 hours, seven days a week. So what we’re trying to do is try new ways of managing the kerb, so that we can keep on top of it, we can keep the city moving, we can reduce congestion.”

The Kerb platform allows a driver to pre-book loading and unloading space for up to 90 minutes, 24 hours a day.  This means drivers get surety of a space in advance for delivery drivers, reducing idling and search time and also allowing them to park long enough to make onward deliveries by greener modes, such as by foot or cargo bike.

“There’s no driving around looking for a space in a busy central London location, like Covent Garden or Victoria, where we’ve got the first two trials,” Cllr Dimoldenberg continues.  “This gives the distribution companies the ability to pre plan where are they going to park, so they’ve got a defined time to deliver the goods. And they can do it quickly, efficiently and without any fuss or delays.”

In the podcast we also hear from the man whose idea this booking system was, Grid Smarter Cities CEO Neil Herron.  He explains that local authorities can use the system now, because it was designed with present laws in mind: “We can use the local authority traffic order procedures to create the experimental or permanent orders, whatever is needed,” he says.  “It doesn't need any new primary legislation or secondary legislation, it can be done with what we have now.”

Hear the views, too, of two delivery drivers who were the first to use the new bay, and how Westminster Council plans to assess the scheme’s success to build a business case for rolling out kerbside booking across the whole of the city.

You’ll also hear the latest headlines from the Highways News website, news from our partners and who wins Adrian’s Accolade this week.

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