Overview

Without lorries many things we take for granted would grind to a halt - their negative impacts can be considerable but through good planning can be managed and alternatives can be provided

Lorries can be noisy and intimidating but they are needed to some extent for the conveniences modern life. Besides being the most car dependent large country in Europe, the UK is also the most lorry dependent. So there is certainly scope for change.

There are two different approaches to take to manage commercial vehicles and they are certainly not exclusive. On the one hand the use of lorries can be managed better through a combination of partnerships and traffic or other restrictions. On the other, you can help reduce the need for lorries in your community, though that may not be much help if most of them are simply travelling through.

In terms of management and controls you can consider:

  • lorry routing strategies and maps - these encourage lorries to stay on major roads for most of their journeys
  • Freight Quality Partnerships - these bringing together operators and local authorities to agree on good practice for freight and delivery in a local area
  • lorry control zones and point restrictions - these are created through traffic orders and are backed up with regulatory signs
  • other controls on lorries - such as through planning conditions and operator licence applications
  • lorry watch schemes - community led schemes to help enforce controls


Measures to reduce the use of motor vehicles for freight include:

  • promote local sourcing of food and materials - reducing the need for freight to travel far
  • break bulk, hubs and collection points - these allow smaller vehicles to make ‘last mile’ deliveries on smaller roads
  • local delivery services - such as the milkman delivering more than milk and cycle courier services
  • promoting alternatives such as rail or water freight - while these can take longer to deliver, they help get the most weight off the roads


While smaller than lorries, vans can also have a negative impact. Even if stereotypes of ‘white van men’ are unfair, vans are the fastest growing form of traffic. Some of the ideas in this section may provide useful ideas.

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