Kerbside management schemes could improve the health and vitality of cities

Stantec and Grid Smarter Cities research sets out how implementation of a digitalised kerbside management scheme is a more efficient and greener solution for improving freight access in London

Mark Moran
02 December 2021
Digitalised kerbside management schemes could make the lives of delivery drivers easier


Digitalising the management of deliveries at kerbside could ease congestion, reduce impact on the environment and air quality and improve safety on London’s roads.

New independent research by consultant Stantec, commissioned by technology company Grid Smarter Cities, shows how the impact of freight, servicing and delivery vehicles on the city’s road networks can be improved by a kerbside management scheme.

The report, Loads Easier: Unlocking the power of the kerb, looks at how growing consumer demand and the rising trend in quick, hassle-free delivery culture has had a substantial impact on congestion, air quality with direct effects on communities. By 2030, the demand for parcels will have more than doubled in London. Limited city kerbside access and navigating narrow streets put a toll on freight operators and delivery drivers who spend time and mileage idling and circling for suitable delivery points.

Freight, servicing and delivery vehicles in London:

  • Make up 23% of all road transport CO2 emissions, 33% of NOx, and 29% of all PM2.5
  • Make 400,000 freight trips in the city a day, with a 54% increase in van kilometres in the past 25 years
  • Drivers spend an average of 149 hours stuck in traffic a year.

Loads Easier builds upon research reports by the Centre for London which outline how dynamic kerbside management is a viable solution to meet the growing demands and challenges in London’s freight delivery access. A recent London First report also looked at the growing challenge of freight access in London and the need for radical change.

Key findings
The Loads Easier report, which will be published next week, looks at the benefits of digitalised kerbside management solutions.

Stantec suggests:

  • A kerbside management scheme in London has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 15,000 tonnes per annum – the equivalent to removing 12,600 cars off the road
  • Some 21% more deliveries could be enabled with improved operational efficiency for freight operators, which means that delivery drivers would not face the hassle of finding safe and suitable kerbside locations to park, saving an estimated three million hours in wasted delivery driver time per annum across London
  • A kerbside management scheme could reduce freight, servicing and delivery kilometres by 20 million per annum in London
  • Kerbside management would enable London boroughs to introduce electric vehicle charging infrastructure at locations for ‘graze’ charging
  • A kerbside management scheme could generate up to £140m in revenue for London per annum.

David Bowers, director of transport at Stantec, said: “Our analysis shows that better management of the kerbside could bring a wide range of economic and financial benefits to delivery operators and road users by reducing the need for vehicles to circulate whilst looking for a safe space to make a delivery – which in turn helps reduce causes of congestion and emissions and makes delivery operations more efficient.”

The Kerb system
Grid Smarter Cities is a technology and software solutions company founded in 2009, specialising in kerbside management solutions for commercial freight. It has 15 granted patents across several territories covering kerbside delivery, servicing and construction sectors.

Grid Smarter Cities has developed Kerb, a kerbside management platform with sector specific tailored solutions to help flexibly and dynamically manage the kerbside. One aspect enables freight drivers to book slots for access, deliver goods and services to the right place at the right time, supporting delivery certainty and reducing penalty charge notice (PCNs). Drivers can also book in advance, so that more deliveries can be offloaded within the same time frame. A bookable kerbside means cities have more flexibility in how scarce kerb space availability can be used better, reducing circling delivery vehicles and congestion and helping to improve air quality and reduce emissions. A dynamic kerb space could be a loading bay in the morning, cargo bike delivery bay in the afternoon, street eatery or parklet in the evening and taxi rank by night.

Neil Herron, founder and chief executive of Grid Smarter Cities, said: “We have a unique opportunity to showcase London to the world with the implementation of a dynamic, bookable kerbside management solution that reduces congestion, improves air quality and enables businesses and communities to receive goods and services more efficiently.

“The Loads Easier report creates a methodology and quantifiable value of those benefits and a process that can be replicated and scaled for other cities. The analysis validates the value that dynamic kerbside management can bring to cities and its citizens, to operators and to the environment - offering a 'win-win' for all. Let’s now begin the process of turning these proof points into action.”

The Loads Easier webinar

The research findings and the benefits of a kerbside management scheme will be further explored in a webinar featuring Stantec, Grid Smarter Cities, Logistics UK, Brewery Logistics Group and e-cargo bike delivery specialists.

The panel will discuss issues such as challenges currently faced by retailers and delivery companies, potential benefits of digitising the kerbside, mapping and digitalising kerbsides, Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and regulatory regimes, managing and enforcing digital kerbside management, and the future of kerb space.

Produced by Landor LINKS and sponsored by Grid Smarter Cities, the free webinar is being held on 8 December from 10.30am to 12pm. To book a free space click here

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