Grid Smarter Cities’ Kerbside management platform utilises the river

Kerb space management technology innovators Grid Smarter Cities has been awarded funding by Impact on Urban Health for an initiative that enables cross modal deliveries moving from river to road using its Kerb platform.

This innovative solution will allow current freight, servicing and delivery vehicles to pre-book designated kerbside spaces alongside Bankside Pier in Southwark through a digital booking platform.

The company explains that better management of this space will help alleviate road traffic congestion, monitor air quality, and noise pollution, and ensure safety for pedestrians and other road users. The allocated spaces will include a smart e-ink sign with booking information and other helpful data such as local air quality and noise levels, which will be beneficial to the local community.

It says Kerb-Dock will enable the smoother cross-modal logistics transfer from river-to-road allowing zero emission last mile delivery modes such as electric vans and cargo bikes to complete their last mile journey more easily – whilst enabling delivery vehicles to reduce vehicle mileage in cities, improve operational efficiency and reduce the risks of PCN charges.

This initiative will look to address how future freight movements may be planned and operated in already congested city centres. The project has a multitude of stakeholders involved who have responsibility for highways, rivers, public realm, local businesses, and freight operators.

Ben Pearce, Portfolio Manager on the Health effects of air pollution programme at Impact on Urban Health, said: “Air pollution is the single greatest environmental threat to health. The people who are most affected by air pollution are often those who have contributed the least to the problem: Children, older people, people with health conditions, people from minoritised ethnicities and people living in areas of deprivation. Clearly, urgent action is needed to improve air quality.

“Freight journeys can have a significant source of air pollution in London. That means we must think creatively about how to reduce the polluting effects of freight and get vehicles off the road.

“Part of that solution is using the river to make deliveries, so we’re excited to be working with Grid, Southwark and Port of London Authority to pilot the use of boats to make deliveries into Bankside.”

Kerb-Dock is a world first, exploring the social, environmental and economic benefits that can be seen by local communities and businesses in developing these cleaner, greener and more sustainable futures for cities and urban spaces.

“Kerb-Dock aligns the use of a practical and readily available kerbside management solution to alleviate the current pressures and future scaling challenges experienced when transitioning larger quantities of light freight from river to an EV van or cargo bike for the last mile,” explained Neil Herron, CEO, Grid Smarter Cities

The Kerb-Dock Project will be evaluated by Steer – an independent infrastructure and transport consultancy with expertise in urban freight and will be leading the evaluation piece of the KDP. Steer will be engaging with key stakeholders throughout the KDP process to hear all perspectives about the trial’s impact in terms of meeting wider objectives such as businesses using pre-bookable slots and looking to move greater volumes of light freight by river (transferring from road), and the associated environmental and traffic congestion benefits that this transfer should achieve. The Kerb-Dock Project is funded by Impact on Urban Health in association with Grid Smarter Cities and Southwark Council.

(Picture – Grid Smarter Cities)


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