B&NES Council have made a decision to end funding for its freight consolidation service. The service which had been running for 3 years is costing £124,000 each year aimed to reduce congestion and pollution on Bath’s road, by consolidating freight heading for Bath at Avonmouth, and then transporting freight by electric vehicle to Bath.
The scheme which has been running since 2009, has failed to gain traction, with an average of only 3 vehicles delivering per day, or 0.3% of freight traffic in Bath. B&NES will look at alternative ways of reducing commercial vehicle traffic through the centre of Bath.
Gill Risbridger, who runs The Green Stationary Company, and who is a member of Transition Bath’s Transport Group sheds some light on some of the issues her business had with the service
“We are listed as users – although they haven’t spelt our name correctly! But have only used the service twice since most of our deliveries are already consolidated through carriers eg DHL, Fedex, DPD/Interlink etc or on paper trucks which are already going round the rest of the stationery companies and printers in Bath. When we tried the service we found that our goods were delayed by an extra day of getting to Avonmouth and then getting forwarded to Bath, so we couldn’t see the point of paying for a scheme that would just delay us receiving our goods. instead we offset the carbon used by delivering our parcels through consolidated carriers through Rainforest Concern – local Bath charity
I do not think this works for large or small businesses so reluctantly (my heart wants the scheme to work) I’m in favour of option 1, especially if they are going to explore alternative consolidation method using small electric delivery trucks and/or electric bicycles serving the city centre. They should also look at delivery bikes working on man-power alone eg Cyclus Maximus”