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Government calls for evidence on more sustainable ‘last mile delivery'

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

They government are seeking your thoughts, experience, evidence and expertise on how to harness new opportunities for greener delivery in the commercial and residential parts of our cities and towns.

In recent years the Department for Transport has taken steps towards encouraging sustainable last mile delivery, including through the Road to Zero strategy, the Clean Air Fund, the creation of one of the most comprehensive global programmes of support for ultra low emission vehicles and through the £246 million Faraday Battery Challenge.

Last mile deliveries have been transformed in recent years by the growth of home deliveries driven by the boom in internet shopping. This has led to a marked rise in van traffic. According to the latest road traffic estimates van traffic increased by 4.7% to 49.5 billion vehicle miles in 2016 alone.1 Most of these vans are diesels. Thus this shift has had immediate economic benefits for consumers, but it has also led to congestion, poor air quality and other environmental problems.

However, the DfT believe new electrical modes of delivery, including e-cargo bikes, micro vehicles and e-vans, can play a key role in the last mile delivery of goods.

The Government has supported using e-cargo bikes through the 2015 Shared Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) Programme and the 2017 Innovation Challenge Fund. This sits alongside the Government's emphasis on the huge benefits of cycling, shaped through the first-ever Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which identifies £1.2 billion which may be invested in cycling and walking from 2016-2021.

In this Last Mile Call for Evidence, DfT would like hear about:

  • how electrically powered e-vans, micro vehicles and e-cargo bikes may be able to provide more efficient, lower impact and greener cargo transport in comparison to current light commercial vehicles;
  • what the scale is of potential environmental and other benefits; 
  • what barriers exist to sustainable last mile delivery, and how they can be removed; 
  • what incentives might be appropriate to encourage a large-scale shift to these clean, last-mile delivery options and; 
  • what scope exists for other measures to improve logistical efficiency (e.g. via urban consolidation centres/hubs).

The results of this Call for Evidence will in turn form part of the Government's Future of Mobility Grand Challenge.

The consultation period will run between 30 July 2018 and 10 September 2018.. You may send your response by email to:


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