Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MIRACLES Report Summary

Project ID: 11953
Funded under: FP5-GROWTH
Country: United Kingdom

Results from urban distribution trials

- To increase the efficiency of freight delivery in Winchester.
- To develop a clean urban delivery service that will become self-sufficient at the end of the project.

The historic road network in Winchester city centre is not designed to cope with large numbers of heavy goods vehicles. Vehicles making deliveries to local businesses can cause considerable disruption to traffic movements, with knock-on effects on air quality. Prior to the start of the project a local Freight Forum had been established, to work with local businesses to investigate ways to improve operations and reduce environmental impacts. Measures implemented by MIRACLES aimed to build on this work, to reduce the impact of deliveries on both traffic congestion and local air quality.

Description of the implementation
At the start of the project detailed surveys of over 450 shops and businesses in Winchester were carried out. The surveys examined freight patterns and developed an understanding of the problems encountered when delivering goods and services.

Discussions were held with a number of companies regarding the feasibility of alternative delivery systems in Winchester. One such company was Collectpoint plc, who offer an alternative to home delivery, primarily to internet shoppers. Collectpoints are located in convenience stores, and provide an alternative delivery address for purchases. The main benefit of this service is the reduction of failed and subsequent return deliveries made by couriers and postal services.

With support from MIRACLES, Collectpoint plc expanded their service within the city, resulting in a total of five locations. MIRACLES widely publicised Collectpoint and offered a ten week free trial of the service during Summer 2004. Feedback from initial surveys resulted in the free trial being extended until Easter 2005.

A Winchester Freight Map was produced for road freight operators and drivers of commercial vehicles, showing appropriate routes, the main delivery destinations, and vehicular restrictions. Two thousand maps have been distributed to local service areas, filling stations and Winchester businesses.

Dove Recycling are a company making recycling collections from Winchester businesses. MIRACLES have been working in partnership Dove Recycling since February 2005, and provided a Citroen Berlingo electric van for their collections within the city. The collection service aims to replace predominantly diesel van journeys with electric van deliveries, resulting in 100% reductions in tailpipe emissions.

Key findings
On average one in five parcels in Winchester fails to be delivered first time, indicating there were potential benefits to be gained from an alternative delivery option, in reduced time and distance travelled. However, the initial Collectpoint trial was marred by technical difficulties and few people used the service. The lack of data meant it was difficult to assess whether the scheme would have been commercially viable, although the trial indicates it would not. For such a scheme to be successful internet retailers would need to incorporate it into their system as an alternative delivery option.

The freight map which was distributed to service areas was thought to be a useful tool for delivery drivers.

Before the waste recycling collection trial, 68% of businesses said they did not recycle, 66% employing SERCO to collect their waste using a 26 tonne heavy-duty diesel refuse vehicle with the waste eventually going to landfill. From small beginnings, collecting a tonne of paper and cardboard a month, the recyclable waste collection service appears to be a commercially viable venture for Dove recycling, since they now operate the service on a full-time basis and have expanded the scheme to other towns in Hampshire.

Reported by

Highways and Transport Policy
SO23 8UD Winchester
United Kingdom
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