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The Potential for Non-road Modes to Support Environmentally Friendly Urban Logistics

Conference paper
Authors Michael Browne
J Allen
A Woodburn
M Piotrowska
Published in Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Green Cities Conference
Volume 151
Pages 29-36
ISSN 1877-0428
Publication year 2014
Published at
Pages 29-36
Language en
Keywords urban freight planning, rail freight solutions, sustainable freight, multimodal freight transport
Subject categories Business Administration

Abstract

Road freight transport typically dominates in urban delivery operations. However, an increasing number of trials and commercial operations have started in the past 10 years attempting to use non-road modes in a wide range of cities including: Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and others. The research establishes the existing scale of rail freight in two comparable cities (London and Paris/Ile de France) and compares the development process in terms of the stakeholders, the infrastructure and planning issues and the nature of the operations. The review considers the scope and opportunity for an increase in the use of rail for urban freight transport and assesses the barriers to its wider implementation. The research is based on a mixture of desk research examining a number of cities and their use of rail freight transport combined with some interviews with the major stakeholders. The research contains an assessment of a number of pilot projects and initiatives that can be considered together and offer important insights into the potential for changes to urban distribution operations. The findings illustrate that rail plays a more important part than is often thought but that its uptake is restricted by the complex barriers to wider implementation. Planning limits and the complexity of engaging with the range of stakeholders has made it difficult to implement rail solutions for urban freight. It is clear that some of the developments can be considered as filling a rather narrow niche function. However, it is also apparent that some initiatives have the scope for wider implementation and to contribute significantly to reducing the reliance on road freight transport in cities. The analysis will support the work of urban planners and policy makers concerned with how to reach the EU target of essentially zero CO2 urban freight by 2030. In addition, the research identifies a number of barriers that need to be overcome and proposes ways to achieve this

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