New freight facility to cut congestion and improve road safety around The Shard

New freight facility to cut congestion and improve road safety around The Shard

A view of The Shard on 11 November 2012Transport for London (TfL) has introduced long-term, congestion easing measures to relieve traffic obstructions and illegal stopping around The Shard development.

In collaboration with the London Bridge Working Group, new vehicle holding areas have been created on Great Dover Street and St Thomas Street to allow freight and construction vehicles to park and wait until they have clear access to the buildings or sites they require access to.

Previously, vehicles servicing The Shard and other nearby developments had been illegally stopping and obstructing the roads while working in the area. This was exacerbated when a number of vehicles were trying to access sites at the same time.

The freight holding areas remove unnecessary congestion, improving safety for all road users. To ensure drivers are using the new facility, TfL’s officers have been carrying out regular visits to the sites, engaging with companies receiving deliveries and moving on illegally parked vehicles to prevent unnecessary congestion in the area.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer of Surface Transport, said: “We are committed to any initiative that helps to ease congestion and create a safer environment for all road users. London’s boom in construction and population means we have to find new ways to accommodate the increasing numbers of freight and delivery vehicles. Areas such as around The Shard can become congested quite easily unless we do something straight away.

“The solution that was found – providing nearby space for vehicles to park up and wait – was fairly straight-forward and yet invaluably effective in addressing congestion and safety in the area.”

The FORS Bronze Standard requires operators to make sure that they use the most efficient, safe, and appropriate vehicles and routes and that any vehicle routes to sites or premises are adhered to unless directed otherwise. This includes the use of freight holding areas where they are available. The aim of this requirement is to reduce the environmental impact, congestion and probability of collisions on routes to and from premises such as The Shard.

TfL’s 24 hour traffic control centre has the ability to adjust traffic lights centrally to ease congestion and minimise disruption and up to the minute information is provided via digital road signs, TfL’s traffic status page and TfL’s Twitter feeds to help road users plan their journeys.