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Delivery van numbers rise as online shopping gains momentum

13 July 2018 - 10:07 by Graham Miller

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Last week official statistics published by the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed that the volume of LCVs on Britain’s roads has jumped significantly, with a 67 per cent rise in the number of miles driven by vans over the past two decades.

This means that their contribution to congestion and pollution is also much higher than ever before, with the popularity of safe shopping online once more being pinpointed as the key cause for this trend.

DfT figures found that 77 per cent of consumers in the UK made at least one purchase via safe shopping online in 2017, compared with 53 per cent ten years ago. This means that there is much more demand for home delivery than at any point in the past.

The study also shows that a number of other factors have helped to make vans more attractive and affordable for businesses of all kinds, with changes to taxation and driver training regulations having an impact.

Interestingly, it was discovered by analysts that although there are record numbers of vans registered in the UK, the average annual mileage clocked up by LCVs has remained fairly stable at around 13,000 miles. This shows that usage levels are not shifting and that their environmental impact, as well as their implications for traffic volumes, is simply down to their huge sales figures.

Consumers are unlikely to slow down the rate at which they place orders online, so if the government and local authorities are to tackle the problems caused by delivery vans, other avenues will have to be explored.

The arrival of electric and hybrid vans from manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz and Ford will help address environmental concerns. Autonomous delivery drones and other alternative services will be needed to cut congestion levels caused by LCVs.