London’s first bookable kerbside management scheme launches

Kerbside management company Grid Smarter Cities has announced that a new project allowing companies to book space at two loading bays is now live in partnership with Southwark Council.

The bays across two areas of Walworth Road will be managed via the Kerb Platform to support the loading and unloading activity of local businesses and retailers in this densely populated High Street.

Southwark Council have previously partnered with Grid Smarter Cities at Bankside in the Southbank area, as part of a river cross docking project, involving bookable loading bay spaces for delivery fleets adjacent to Bankside Pier (Kerb Dock). Building on this project, the council have deployed bookable loading bays in the busy high street location.

The council says a key priority is to give delivery drivers on Walworth Road better access to the existing allocated loading bays and deter unauthorised usage of the spaces for non-specific loading or unloading activity. The aim is to reduce congestion in the high street during peak periods and alleviate parking stress during deliveries to the local businesses and eateries. A HGV specific bay has also been deployed for larger freight vehicles on the north side of the street, helping to serve deliveries to the nearby supermarket.

The project manages existing bays in a structured manner and will provide key parking data to Southwark Council. The scheme will run for an initial 18 month period with the possibility to implement the bookable bays permanently after that. There are currently no charges to use the bays.

Walworth Road is Elephant and Castle’s high street. One mile long, it runs from the Elephant and Castle junction in the north to Burgess Park in the south. Walworth Road is a classic London High Street made up of an eclectic mix of independent cafes, restaurants, pubs, small shops, supermarkets, big name stores, nail bars and local businesses. It has a long standing trading history and today is a part of a bustling suburb, hosting many businesses and homes. The road is a busy thoroughfare for buses, residents and is situated between two parks. The users of the bays will be a mix between larger fleet users, some with HGVs and a larger proportion of smaller, local traders.

The Kerb Platform will enable delivery space to be booked in advance, which should reduce the hassle of searching for suitable places to stop and unload for drivers on Walworth Road. Grid Smarter Cities also points at safety benefits for pedestrians in the area, due to less vehicle dwell and road time. The community could also benefit from improved air quality due to fewer emissions from delivery fleets idling and circling in this low emissions neighbourhood.

Grids Kerb Delivery booking platform will manage five numbered loading bays across two parking areas on either side of the Walworth Road. Four double sided e-ink smart signs have been installed to support the bookings, providing on-street users with visibility on the availability of the bays. Once registered and approved, a driver app for approved couriers can be downloaded to make and manage bookings. A web based booking platform is available to support fleet operations staff to manage logistics movements.This can improve productivity by enabling more deliveries to be planned from a single location per day. One of the key features of the scheme is that drivers can book delivery slots for longer periods than the standard twenty minutes. Bookings via the platform can be made in 15-minute increments, for example, 0-15, 15-30, 30-45, 45-60 minute slots, which supports easier, cleaner, greener freight operations.

Neil Herron, Grid Smarter Cities CEO said: ‘’Grid Smarter Cities is excited to be launching our latest bookable loading bays on a high street in Walworth Road, Southwark, a UK first. The Kerb app enables commercial drivers to book their slots in signed ‘permit’ loading bays which help better manage freight, servicing and delivery activities at the kerbside.

“This is an exciting change from the first come first served approach to kerbside access, and represents a major digital leap forward for councils to optimise kerbside management and for operators to undertake deliveries in a more efficient manner leading to beneficial air quality, congestion reduction and improved local amenity.’’

(Picture – Grid Smarter Cities)

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