Event held to bridge gap between couriers and public sector


Cross River Partnership (CRP) hosted a Courier Fair this week to encourage greater collaboration and partnership working between zero emission couriers delivering across London, and London’s local authorities, Business Improvement Districts and strategic agencies.

The event, held at the University of Westminster on Wednesday 7 February 2024, provided an informal forum to enable unstructured conversations between couriers and local authority, BID and strategic agency officers, to share opportunities to collaborate, partner, discuss vacant or underutilised industrial land, and explore policy and planning support.

The CRP Courier Fair has been made possible through Smarter Greener Logistics (SGL), a Defra-funded project led by Westminster City Council in collaboration with 26 project partners. The project aims to minimise the impact of freight on noise, air quality, traffic and pavement space in London by making improvements across 15 London boroughs and four London Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

CRP have hosted this event following feedback from zero emission couriers and the public sector that suggests a closer, collaborative and partnership-focussed relationship would be beneficial for London and its’ people’s health. This critical bridge that CRP has provided can foster more opportunities to make the zero-emission sector thrive, at a time of huge growth and the need to address air quality.
Freight vehicles make up 15% of London's total vehicle miles but emit one quarter of London's overall transport carbon emissions, and with continued changes to shopping behaviour that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, the number of parcels delivered in London is expected to double by 2030. Overcoming this challenge therefore requires a collaborative, joined-up approach across London with the public and private sector.

The event was opened by Councillor Mary Durcan, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Chair of the Port Health & Environmental Services Committee, and Cross River Partnership Board Public Sector Co-Chair who said: “I’d like to thank Cross River Partnership for setting up this Courier Fair, bringing together logistics operators big and small in London with those in local authorities, business improvement districts and strategic agencies to support each other to help make logistics more sustainable, efficient and collaborative. These issues can’t be solved by any one organisation alone. It needs all of us in this room to come together.

"I’m really excited to speak to the logistics operators and couriers here today to learn more about the work you do, and how we can support them in the City of London so they can deliver sustainability and zero emission to our residents and businesses. This event will lead to lots of great conversations and help to create more partnership working with the public and private sectors in London.”