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TfL boss urges ‘Barcelona-style’ delivery service at Canada Water and Battersea

Ups van

Transport for London’s (TfL) director of transport innovation has called on developers at Canada Water and Battersea to implement a “Barcelona-style” freight delivery system.

Michael Hurwitz believes the introduction of a “last-mile courier” service would improve London’s traffic problems and air quality issues by reducing the number of vans entering the capital’s congested zones.

As part of the scheme delivery vans would be stopped at a certain point with electric or autonomous couriers delivering goods from there. 

Hurwitz believes that new sites have the opportunity to spark change that can then be rolled out across the city. 

“The best opportunity we have for change is by starting at new sites, for example at Canada Water and Battersea,” Hurwitz said at WSP’s conference on Development Planning in the Era of New Mobility.

“In Barcelona vans have to stop at a certain point and then they have couriers for the last mile.

“It just takes someone to stand up and do it first, at the moment everyone wants to be the second person to introduce it.”

He added: “With new sites such as Canada Water and Battersea, we have a real opportunity to collectively agree on change.

“If we all collectively agree what a curb should look like and collectively look at transport modes into these sites then that would be place making. At the moment it is all too fragmented.”

An electric vehicle courier trial is already in place in Camden, with UPS deploying 35 modular Arrival vehicles to the area.

The fleet of light-weight EVs with zero tailpipe emissions, have 240km battery range and advanced safety features to assist the driver.

“UPS is working with ARRIVAL here in the UK because their smart electric vehicles are helping to reduce dependency on fossil fuel. This is a pioneering collaboration that helps UPS develop new ways to reduce our emissions,” said UPS international director for automotive engineering Luke Wake.

“UPS is marshalling its global scale to encourage innovation within the automotive industry. We are helping to drive demand for these disruptive technologies. The result is a safer and cleaner fleet for the communities in which we deliver.”

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