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London congestion could rise due to e-commerce deliveries

10 September 2015 - 09:45 by Simon Crisp

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The number of commercial vehicles prowling the streets of the capital is set to increase, with the rise in the popularity of safe shopping online being blamed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, according to the Evening Standard.

Johnson said that the rise of e-commerce deliveries will lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of white vans which are out in force across London by the year 2031. And with traffic already proving problematic in this historic city, the mayor is keen to do something about the impact of rising online sales.

This is unlikely to be helped by the fact that services like Amazon Prime Now are enabling Londoners to arrange for purchases made via safe shopping online to be delivered within 60 minutes.

There are a number of potential answers to this conundrum, with Johnson proposing that delivery firms improve the efficiency with which they load their vans, to minimise the number which need to be deployed at any one time. Companies may also need to operate outside of the periods during which congestion is heaviest in the capital, although this could lead to consumers having to put up with antisocial delivery slots.

The rise in sales of commercial vehicles in the past few years has also been attributed to e-commerce growth, although some observers have been critical of Johnson’s suggestions and want to see other avenues for dealing with the issue explored.

RAC spokesperson, Steve Gooding, said that it may be worth increasing investment in click and collect locations, so that train stations and other public places across London can be used as drop off points for online orders. Although while this will work for smaller items, consumers who place larger orders will still need door to door delivery available to them.