Editor at Logistics Insight
Post date: Thursday, 5th January 2012
In the run up to Christmas it would have been easy to overlook the recommendations by Mary Portas in her recently published report The Portas Review: an independent review into the future of our high streets.
The fashion guru was asked to conduct an independent review last May by David Cameron and Nick Clegg as part of the government’s work on the growth agenda and her findings were unveiled on 12 December.
One of Mary’s recommendations in particular has received the backing of the Freight Transport Association (FTA); it suggests that night-time delivery restrictions could be lifted as one way to reinvigorate the UK’s ailing high streets.
As Gordon Telling, the FTA’s head of urban policy, points out: “Our high streets rely on vans and trucks to stay open for business, but the Portas Review shows that excessive delivery restrictions have held back business growth.
“By allowing van and truck operators to deliver out-of-hours we will see improvements in congestion levels and air quality, less wasted fuel and more reliability built into our supply chains.
“The reduced peak-time traffic should also serve to make the high street more desirable for shoppers.”
And with London hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer there is the opportunity to examine the benefits that night-time deliveries offer in a time-critical situation.
Transport for London has already published very detailed ‘hotspot’ information to help businesses prepare to operate normally in the build-up to and during the Games, so allowing businesses to accept deliveries during ‘out-of-hours’ would make sense and make the most of a one-off opportunity.
Such a move would also give a much needed boost to a delivery sector that has been under the cosh in recent times.