UK government launches freight innovation challenge

The UK’s Transport for London (TfL) has launched a new freight innovation challenge to tackle congestion in the city.

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As part of the challenge, called London FreightLab, TfL is looking for innovators to develop new ways of tackling some of the biggest issues associated with freight and servicing in London.

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The challenge has been launched in response to the rapidly rising number of goods vehicles on the roads in London. According to TfL, the capital’s streets have seen the number of goods vehicles rise by around 20% since 2010. The London mayor’s Transport Strategy aims for a 10% reduction in van and lorry use during the morning peak by 2026.

London FreightLab is looking to offer funding, land sites, and subject matter expertise during the pilot stage for up to six innovative ideas, which could be further developed and tested through the London FreightLab challenge. Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation, said, “We want to work with the best market innovators from startups to corporates to help solve some of the key challenges that London faces. Freight is essential to London’s economy, but as the number of vans and lorries on our streets continues to go up, so does pollution, congestion and road danger.

“We believe innovative new ideas could make a real difference in reducing the impact of freight movements on the capital and this is why we’d like to encourage as many companies as possible to collaborate with us to do this.”

TfL is working with 10 leading industry partners on the challenge, including Gnewt, DPD, Royal Mail, UPS and Ceva Logistics.

Full details of the challenge are available at www.tech.london/challenges/tackling-congestion

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