Green delivery hub project could help cut pollution in Stratford
WORK has started on a project that could see the introduction of a green, last-mile delivery service in Stratford with the aim of cutting vehicle emissions.
If successful, delivery companies would stop at a hub on the outskirts of town to unload and goods would then be taken to homes and businesses by electric vehicles or possibly cargo bikes.
Entitled Project Damascus, the initial feasibility research, which is being funded by the government’s Geospatial Commission, will focus on consolidating the deliveries from 16 national companies.
The project is being led by the TravelSpirit Foundation and is supported by Stratford Climate Action and Stratford Town Council.
Stephen Norrie, chair of Stratford Climate Action, said: “There are already hubs on the outskirts of town for each delivery service - the point would be to consolidate those so there’s only one hub.
“This first stage would involve trying to work out how the different technologies fit together and the logistics of it.
“It’s a three-month research project and at the end of that, if that goes well, there’s a possibility of applying to the Geospatial Commission for the next stage of the research.
“This would be for testing it, buying an electric vehicle and actually doing some rounds and developing some of the software needed.”
The last-mile delivery hub could help cut emissions from vehicles - transport is said to account for 56 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the Stratford district. Technology could help reduce the amount of delivery journeys into town while the use of electric or other sustainable travel would cut emissions.
According to Project Damascus, a combination of blockchain and satellite navigation technologies could be used to run the scheme, which could also produce some cost savings for delivery firms by optimising journeys.
Stephen added: “To reach net zero emissions, we need to get cars off the road. This is an exciting project which could help establish Stratford as a leader in the new technologies that will enable us to do this.”
The project is being led by Simon Herko, president of the Travelspirit Foundation, working with Iconic Blockchain, Peera and WMG, which is a department at the University of Warwick.
Janet Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy at WMG is providing expert advice to the project.
She said: “This is an important piece of research. It has strong alignment with the government’s green industrial revolution strategy and could have a widespread positive impact on many UK towns outside the larger metropolitan cities.”
For more information or to get involved in the research, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07870 730129. The group would like to hear from people who already shop online as well as courier drivers and retailers who sell to customers online.