Bad News For London Office Workers Who Buy Everything Online

Illustration: Anna Sudit
Where would we be without our weekly Asos haul and having birthday presents for our family from Amazon delivered straight to the office? In a far less happy place, that’s where. Everyone appreciates the convenience of online shopping, particularly as long working days leave us less time to shop IRL.
However, online deliveries could soon be a thing of the past for London office workers if new plans are implemented. Val Shawcross, London’s deputy mayor for transport, today said companies should consider banning their staff from ordering packages direct to the office to help reduce congestion on the capital’s roads, reported the Evening Standard.
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In a speech to MPs, she said light vans make up a fifth of traffic in central London and that companies should instead promote click-and-collect services, “so that people can collect their deliveries on the way home”. These can be found at various transport hubs around the capital.
London’s congestion charge should also be updated to help reduce traffic, Shawcross suggested. It currently stands at £11.50 for vehicles within the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday, but she recommended it be extended to evenings and weekends, and said drivers should be charged extra for making multiple trips.
“We ought to be encouraging employers to ban private deliveries to premises in central London,” she said. “We need to be looking at click-and-collect type facilities in public transport modes so that people can collect their deliveries on the way home.”
The possibility of no longer having a delivery to look forward to during a boring work day is, of course, heartbreaking. But at least the plans could help to reduce London’s current air pollution crisis. Back in January, mayor Sadiq Khan warned even healthy Londoners against exercising outside because of the “toxic air”, and last month the European Commission gave us two months to clean up our act after persistently breaching the EU’s legal air pollution limits.
The capital also fell below Paris and Lyon in a recent survey measuring urban quality of life. It now ranks 40th in the 19th annual Mercer Quality of Life Survey, having dropped from 39th place last year, due to high levels of traffic and pollution.
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Regardless of whether or not a ban on internet shopping delivery vans comes into force, it’s probably worth upping our intake of omega 3 oils to protect ourselves against the damaging effects of pollution, as a recent study suggested.
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