Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been urged to appoint a “freight commissioner” to navigate the growing logistical demands of the capital.
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has made the call in recognition of the growing demands of businesses and residents as London heads towards ‘megacity’ status.
While LCCI said it is broadly supportive of the mayor’s efforts to reduce congestion and related impacts on air quality, it said measures taken to achieve this need to be made in tandem with supporting London as a thriving city.
LCCI argued London’s population is set to grow from 8.6 million to an estimated 10 million by 2030, putting greater strain on the city’s infrastructure, both in terms of public transport and service delivery.
A freight commissioner, it suggested, would create and lead a vision for enabling efficient logistics and to develop a “world-class” freight and logistics environment in the capital within the mayor’s Transport Strategy.
“We are looking at a rapidly expanding population in London, which means not only do all these people need to be able to move about, but they also require access to all the essential goods and services they want and need,” said Natalie Chapman, deputy chair of LCCI’s Transport Committee.
”People living in and visiting London expect to be able to buy their morning coffee, visit the shops and find everything they want in stock and also have a wide restaurant choice if they go out for an evening.
“This doesn’t just magically happen. Shops and restaurants have to be supplied and stocked and that means freight and logistics have to be properly co-ordinated.”