Lorries – a frequent cause of serious and fatal injuries to commuter cyclists – could become scarcer in the London rush hour under plans to trial more early morning and night time deliveries.
Transport for London (TfL) will use the successful precedent of a similar scheme in force during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The new plans were published in a document, Delivering a Road Freight Legacy, released earlier this month. The document received a cautious welcome from the Freight Transport Association, who said: "the logistics industry is ready to respond to these new conditions". It added, however, that the haulage industry will face "significant challenges" adapting to the TfL's proposals.
The arrival of the out-of-hours pilot scheme fills a major gap in a series of measures announced by London Mayor Boris Johnson six weeks ago. In early September he outlined a number of plans including a proposal that could see lorries not fitted with basic safety equipment hit with a fine up to £200 if they enter the city centre.
A group has been set up to establish how the out of hours scheme could operate in practice and examine whether legislation and vehicles will need to be modified to ensure its successful implementation.
The out-of-hours trials will begin early in 2014 and further details of how the programme will work will be announced later this year.