Strategies to Reduce the Use of Energy by Road Freight Transport in Cities



Strategies to Reduce the Use of Energy by Road Freight Transport in Cities

Authors

BROWNE M and ALLEN J, University of Westminster, UK

Description

Writing 20 years ago, I-ticks (1977) noted that "any urban area depends for its existence on a massive flow of commodities into, out of, and within its boundaries. Yet the transport of goods remains a forgotten aspect of urban transportation study". Altho

Abstract

Writing 20 years ago, I-ticks (1977) noted that "any urban area depends for its existence on a massive flow of commodities into, out of, and within its boundaries. Yet the transport of goods remains a forgotten aspect of urban transportation study". Although consideration of freight transport in urban areas continues to lag behind the analysis of the movement of people, there has been a significant increase in the attention paid to urban goods movement in recent years. The extra attention has been mainly the result of growing awareness and concern about the environmental impact of transport and the implications for the economic vitality of towns and cities caused by congestion problems. In many European countries during the past five years we have seen a renewed focus on consolidation centres and shared-user urban transhipment depots. These initiatives have important implications for all those concerned with freight transport in cities.

This paper considers the vehicle activity, energy use and the environmental impact of road freight transport in urban areas. Strategies that could potentially reduce freight vehicle activity, energy consumption and its impacts are also considered. The paper begins with a discussion of the importance of urban road freight transport. This is followed by consideration of the extent and impact of road freight transport in Britain, nationally and in urban areas. A case study of road freight transport in London is included. The case study has been undertaken to help illustrate the composition of road freight transport in Britain's capital city, to indicate the importance of freight traffic (in comparison with other motorised road traific) and to attempt to quantify its effects. This includes quantification of total vehicle activity, energy use and emissions by freight vehicles in London. Within the case study a number of possible freight transport strategies are modelled in order to examine the extent to which they could reduce the negative impacts of London's road freight transport.

The paper also questions the traditional definition of road freight transport and considers alternative definitions. Finally, the paper summarises future approaches to urban freight transport, from both a government and company perspective.

Publisher

Association for European Transport