Councillor hails new bookable EV loading bays to “keep the city moving and reduce congestion”

The councillor in charge of transport and air quality in Westminster says a new

online booking system for electric delivery vans to remotely reserve places to unload will “help businesses do their day-to-day job of delivering to our businesses, our shops, restaurants and cafes.”

Paul Dimoldenberg, who is Westminster Council’s Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, attended the launch of an 18-month project with software solutions company Grid Smarter Cities involving two loading bays near Covent Garden and Victoria Street last week.  The scheme allows drivers of electric vans can to pre-book a loading and unloading space for up to 90 minutes, 24 hours a day.  This means that delivery drivers get surety of a space in advance, reducing idling and search time and also allowing them to park long enough to make onward deliveries by greener modes, such as by foot or cargo bike.

“There’s huge competition for kerbside space,” he said. “We recognise more than 40 different users of the kerb, and it’s impossible to keep up unless we are on top of it 24 hours, seven days a week. So what we’re trying to do is try new ways of managing the kerb, so that we can keep on top of it, we can keep the city moving, we can reduce congestion.”

The Kerb suite comes with a driver friendly app, online interface and is accompanied by an on-street e-ink sign. Drivers can report rogue vehicles if the space is being used without a booking on arrival.

“There’s no driving around looking for a space in a busy central London location, like Covent Garden or Victoria, where we’ve got the first two trials,” Cllr Dimoldenberg continued.  “This gives the distribution companies the ability to pre plan where are they going to park, so they’ve got a defined time to deliver the goods. And they can do it quickly, efficiently and without any fuss or delays.”

The two spaces are located in Abbey Orchard Street and Russell Street and the success of the trial will be monitored to provide a case to expand across the City of Westminster.  “We’re not going to change the world with two bays,” the councillor explained. “But if it works over the next 18 months, then it gives us the go ahead to unveil more of these bays, right across Westminster so that we have a network of bays so that businesses can have a choice of where they book a spot at a time that suits them.”

Drivers who wish to use these initial bays must be pre-registered and the vehicle must be fully electric.  EV delivery fleet operators or drivers who deliver within the areas of Russell Street and Abbey Orchard Street in Westminster can register at or can sign up here.