Changes to speed limits in London’s ‘Square Mile’

If you ever have any courier jobs in the City of London’s ‘Square Mile’, things are about to get a little slower. The City Corporation has recently announced plans to push for some ‘speedy’ legislation, which will reduce the speed limit for vehicles to just 15 mph.

Prioritising people

While for those of us who do courier jobs it might feel like a bit of an imposition at first, let’s face it – just how much faster do we really get around on average inside the Square Mile traffic anyhow? The legislation is designed to cater for the most popular mode of transport in the capital – which just happens to be the good old human foot! But it’s certainly going to help drivers as well.

This city was made for walking

You might not think it when you’re out there doing your courier jobs in those endless traffic snarls, but up to 90% of all the journeys made in the City of London are done on foot – or at least partially walked. That equates to a whole lot of pedestrian traffic, so it’s not surprising this new legislation is skewed towards keeping them safer. But it’s not all about pedestrians, because while it prioritises the flow for those on foot, the strategy is also set to make motorists’ lives easier!

Planning and strategizing

Although they’ve yet to get government approval, the City Corporation is moving ahead to promote the legislation. Their plan is based on more than 50 proposals from the local authority that will form the basis of their long-term Transport Strategy – and many in the industry are giving their three cheers.

Slowing down to reduce the flow

The plan aims to reduce traffic by up to a whopping 50% by 2044, in order to make better use of the street space. How good does that sound? Imagine zipping around the centre of London earning your daily bread with only half the number of other vehicles on the road! Although at a maximum of 15 mph it might be more like cruising than zipping – but we all know the story about slow and steady…

Less speed, safer roads

As well as making it easier to get around, the strategy to slow down motorists will also prevent those all-too-common road-blocking accidents. In addition to reducing injuries and downtime due to incidents or collisions, having fewer, slower vehicles in the Square Mile will keep traffic flowing much smoother.

Even if you’re in the delivery business, you shouldn’t be looking at the slow down strategy (due to come into effect in 2021/22) as a hindrance. It’s designed to help all the road users in the capital and we’re definitely on board! How about you?

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This year’s Microlise Transport Conference was held on the 15th May and, true to form, it was another successful event. A free one-day event open to anyone involved in the road transport industry, the conference offered an excellent opportunity for attendees to increase their knowledge of current industry related topics.

Several leading figures presented key subjects that included particularly interesting ideas and projections about the future of our industry.

Attended by 1200 fellow professionals, this conference was ideal for those interested in staying up to date with information and developing their business in line with future trends.

Presentations in brief

Paul Strong (Technical Director of Google Cloud)

This presentation provided a fascinating insight into the use of the Cloud and how it can shape companies in our industry going forward. It’s clear the future of transport lies in computers, technology and digital transformation, and Paul did a great job of explaining how technological devices are set to define our businesses.

AI, Just in Time Everything and the Cloud were the focus of this presentation, but the themes offered plenty of scope to expand on this hugely important subject.

Dr Jonathan Keating

This talk was a highlight and was particularly interesting in terms of the growth of e-commerce, something that is set to affect everyone in the courier network in the coming years. There is no doubt that fewer people are going out to shop, instead choosing to buy online. This change in buying behaviour has a direct impact on the number of vehicles on the road, and therefore also impacts congestion and the environment.

The talk focused on the electrification of vehicles, the introduction of e-courier bikes to move goods and the vision for clean air zones.

Marian Kitson (DVSA Director of Enforcement)

This was an excellent discussion about the protection of drivers from unsafe, non-compliant individuals on the road. With more than 10000 cameras out there set to deter dangerous drivers, Marian Kitson is intent on reducing vehicle related incidents. She explained how roadside vehicle checks found defected vehicles and illegal driver hour clocks, and how this will be clamped down on in future.

Elliot Shaw (Highways England)

A huge topic of discussion throughout the UK courier network, the congestion in this country is at an unsustainable level. A road network that allows free flowing traffic movement is key to our economy, which is why congestion is the single biggest issue we must deal with. In this talk, Elliot Shaw explained how the road networks are set to change to accommodate the increased amount of freight on our transport routes. Planning has been laid out in five-year blocks, with the next block of strategic plans to be put in place between 2020 and 2025.

Our industry is a rapidly evolving one, and we are lucky to have such well-organised and well-attended events such as the Microlise Transport Conference. For anyone involved in freight forwarding and doing business throughout the UK courier network, attending conferences like this and keeping abreast of current information is extremely important. Planning for the future is vital in our line of work and any successful company owner or manager needs to stay up to date and move forward in line with industry practice.

If you’re an owner driver with a van, and you’re interested in joining the UK and Europe’s largest, and fastest growing, neutral trading hub for same day jobs in the express freight exchange industry, then contact our sales team today to get set up on 020 8993 7100, or email us at sales@courierexchange.co.uk.