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Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Do your bit for air quality!


November 21, 2018

It's no secret that London's air quality is poor but did you know that you can make a difference with a small change?

Approximately 40% of central London office deliveries are personal packages, with a 35% increase in road traffic on Black Friday. 

So we’re asking business members in the Northbank to use Click & Collect services on their personal deliveries at the office to reduce traffic congestion and improve local air quality.

One in every three cars stuck in traffic in central London is a delivery or courier van, as more and more people are choosing to do their shopping online and have it delivered at the office. In the Northbank area, up to 40% of all deliveries to any commercial building are of a personal nature, mostly relating to employees’ online shopping. Moreover, almost one in every five deliveries occurs during the morning peak times, adding to traffic congestion and delays.

This is even more visible during busy shopping periods like the Christmas holidays and Black Friday, due to the rise of online versus high street shopping. Last year on Black Friday retailers registered a whopping £1.4bn in online sales in the UK – up almost 12% on 2016, with shopping centres and high streets recording a decrease of 3.6% in visits and sales.

On the other hand, a 2015 study analysing road traffic in the UK saw a 35% increase in morning traffic and congestion on Black Friday compared to any other Friday. And these figures were registered before several online shopping platforms offered next day and even same day delivery.

The Northbank BID area is made up of 60% commercial buildings, with 400 member businesses, 72% of which would like to see a decrease in traffic in the area. As such, the Northbank has recently launched a campaign warning employees and visitors that their online shopping is adding to traffic congestions and air pollution on the Northbank and instead encouraging them to use a ‘click & collect’ service. The website also includes an interactive map where Londoners can identify their nearest collection point.

Parcel collection points reduce the number of stops a courier has to make, helping reduce traffic. Most of these delivery options are free and also convenient, as they are located all over central London, from the neighbouring dry cleaners or corner store to the train station people use on their daily commute.

Ruth Duston, Chief Executive of The Northbank BID, who are leading on the campaign:

“Improving air quality is a key priority for us to create a clean, safe and pleasant environment for the 14 million visitors the Northbank gets each year and the 26,000 students and 20,000 workers who use the area each day.

“Aside from our work through the Business Low Emissions Neighbourhood, which is supported by the Mayor of London, it is important to note that all Londoners can make a difference every day and help make the Northbank a nicer, safer and healthier place to visit, shop and work.”

This campaign is a collaborative effort by the Northbank BID and other members of the Business Low Emissions Neighbourhood, which is supported by the Mayor of London in his aim to improve air quality among the capital’s business community.