Online shopping deliveries are compromising London’s air quality, particularly during the peak festive period when personal parcels account for as much as 60% of the total items delivered to West End businesses.
New West End Company (NWEC), which represents firms in London’s West End, is urging workers to rethink how they manage online shopping habits during the Christmas shopping season, recommending consolidated delivery services such as Pacelly, HubBox and Doddle, using nearby bricks-and-mortar stores or getting parcels delivered closer to home.
It cites research conducted by Arup and Cross River Partnership, which reveals that 40% of the total items delivered to West End firms are personal parcels, rising to 60% during November and December, equating to some 12,000 parcels every day.
Road freight transport is now responsible for 36% of NOx emissions in London and 39% of PM10 exhaust emissions, according to Transport for London’s latest report.
In 2015, Oxford Street beached the annual limit on NO2 emissions in the first four days of the year.
“As a luxury retailer we cannot afford to have unnecessary parcel couriers coming through our stores’ door, and personal packages account for 15% of our deliveries,” said Patricia Consterdine, office manager for Longchamp. “That’s why we are encouraging our employees to get their personal deliveries sent nearer their homes, particularly at this busy festive time of year.”
Earlier this year, NWEC and Cross River Partnership launched the UK’s first business-led air quality strategy to tackle poor air quality across the West End.
The strategy includes plans for converting fleets of vehicles to low emission alternatives, improving the cycle-friendliness of the West End, encouraging low-emission building design and construction practices, as well as installing green infrastructure in buildings to help filter air pollutants.