London’s First EV Bookable Loading Bay Scheme in Westminster

Greener, smarter deliveries for EV fleets in the Westminster borough

Two new bookable bays are launching in Abbey Orchard Street and Russell Street near the bustling shopping and business districts of Victoria Street and Covent Garden. This is a first for London and will enable freight EV’s to pre-book loading and unloading space in advance for up to 90 minutes. 

The project is a collaboration between Grid Smarter Cities, who are providing the Kerb booking platform, including driver app, and Westminster City Council. This innovative scheme has many potential positive impacts from reduced freight congestion and emissions to improved road safety. The bays are bookable 24 hours per day and the scheme is set to run for an initial 18-month period.

The key aims for Westminster City Council are to improve the access and dwell times of freight operators in the area and reduce congestion. The booking platform enables a more streamlined approach to freight deliveries by providing surety of space in advance for delivery drivers. A pre-booked slot leads to reductions in idling and search time from freight vehicles and a more efficient delivery process. The ability to book longer delivery slots ranging from 30, 60, 90 minutes will also encourage more onward deliveries by greener modes, such as by foot or cargo bike. 

Encouraging greener last mile deliveries is a key objective for the project

Westminster City Council and are keen to see increasing numbers of greener last mile deliveries within the Borough and continue to commit to increasing their greener transport infrastructure and supporting electric freight deliveries. The scheme supports their Freight, Servicing and Deliveries Strategy and Action Plan 2020–2040, which includes proactive kerbside management as one of its 9 strategic actions. Including; more effective use of on-street loading and unloading bays throughout the 24-hour period to reduce commercial vehicle movements

There are benefits for both the fleet operators and the borough

The dynamic Kerbside technology enables delivery fleets to book loading space before they arrive for an amount of time that fits the specific delivery type. The hassle of searching for a suitable place to unload is removed from the delivery cycle and driver stress is reduced.

Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Grid Smarter Cities to deliver two new dedicated parking bays for freight EVs in Westminster – London’s first bookable EV loading bays. 

Westminster City Council recognises the importance of tackling air pollution and reducing carbon emissions to reach our goal of a Net Zero city by 2040.  

By providing infrastructure tailored to the needs of electric delivery vehicles, we are supporting businesses in transitioning to cleaner transportation methods while improving air quality and enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.”

Neil Herron, CEO from Grid Smarter Cities said:

“Grid Smarter Cities is excited to be launching our first bookable EV only loading bays in the heart of London with Westminster City Council.

The Kerb app enables commercial EV 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. The deployment represents a major digital leap forward for councils to optimise kerbside management and for operators to undertake deliveries in a more efficient manner and  aligns with Westminster’s Carbon Reduction Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan helping prioritise carbon reduction through reduced traffic and congestion.”