The recent reported comments from Department for Transport Minister Andrew Jones to the Transport Select Committee, singularly fail to address the fundamental fact that reducing road space for any reason will cause added urban congestion, and increase pollution through vehicle emissions, if the current and increasing demand of the urban economy are to be met. An important part of this is feeding the Nation. Evidence from FSDF member companies, particularly in the foodservice sector is showing that if congestion causes delay in delivering food and drink to shops, offices, pubs, restaurants and the wide range of other private and public sector catering establishments, added vehicles of a range of sizes will be needed to ensure customer service requirements are maintained.

This self fulfilling prophecy will get worse, unless we make fundimental changes to the way we work, eat, and sleep  – it is like the snowball rolling down hill – the problem just gets larger and larger, taking up more and more space. At the same time the added vehicles required will then produce more emissions, which then add to the urban pollution.

FSDF supports and encourages Transport for London ’s search for a safe and environmentally friendly solution but it appears to be a mutual exclusive or a Catch 22 situation, where there are directly conflicting causes and effects at every turn.  One way to break this cycle could well be to provide access to wider urban areas by delivery vehicles 24 hours per day, seven days a week, with parking and waiting policy being tuned accordingly.

It worked at the London Olympics 2012 – why not now? 

Chris Sturman
Chief Executive
Food Storage & Distribution Federation