News & Blog
The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) are looking for the best innovators to apply for an innovation challenge, London FreightLab, to develop new ways of tackling some of the biggest issues associated with freight and servicing in London.This new challenge is part of the Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge, which brings together London’s public and private sector with tech companies to develop solutions to the most pressing problems facing the city, delivered in partnership with Microsoft and the Social Tech Trust.
Freight is the lifeblood of London’s economy, delivering vital goods and services to people and companies across the capital. However, in recent years the capital’s streets have seen a rapid rise in the number of goods vehicles, which have increased by around 20 per cent since 2010. This can contribute to poor air quality, congestion and road danger, which is why the Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims for a 10 per cent 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. Ideas should help make the way goods move around London safer, cleaner and more efficient.
TfL is working with ten leading industry partners on the challenge, who will be using their expertise in the sector to evaluate the innovative ideas and see whether they could work on a larger scale. The partners TfL will be working with include:
Applications are open to everybody and full details are available here http://www.tech.london/challenges/tackling-congestion. The deadline for applying is midday on 5 February.
Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation, said: “We want to work with the best market innovators from start-ups 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.”
David Lawson, Chief Procurement Officer at Guy's and St. Thomas’ NHS Trust, said: “Guy's and St Thomas' is committed to taking a lead role in improving local air quality. Over the last 12 months we have adopted cargo bikes for shipment of blood samples between our sites and opened a new urban consolidation centre. We are looking to work with partners to develop further initiatives that can be both adopted by the hospital and applied at scale.”
This new innovation challenge builds on TfL’s commitment to working with partners to developing innovative solutions to London’s problems. Recent activity includes:
In 2019, TfL launched an ambitious plan to work with boroughs, businesses and the freight and servicing industry to transform how deliveries are made in the capital, reducing road danger and helping to clean up London's toxic air. Key actions in the plan included better coordination of the control of freight movements in London, supporting increased use of water and rail and making freight vehicles safer by launching the HGV Safety Permit Scheme.
Sam Clarke, Gnewt Founder, said: “Gnewt by Menzies Distribution is delighted to be a partner with TfL on the London FreightLab project. Gnewt has itself been innovating constantly in the environmental logistics space in London for over a decade and has worked alongside TfL and the GLA throughout that time. To be involved in this project is both a privilege and an opportunity to actively learn and potentially collaborate with future innovators on concepts that may materially influence the ever-changing London landscape.”