The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has claimed vans delivering online shopping orders are clogging up the city’s streets, and is calling for a reduction of white vans on the roads.

“We think by 2031 there will be a 20% increase in white van traffic just because of internet shopping,” Johnson said.

“We need to be doing things to reduce congestion from commercial vehicles, marshalling commercial vehicles more effectively, minimising the number of journeys,” he added.

The mayor also suggested measures introduced during the London Olympics could be repeated, whereby delivery companies were encouraged to operate outside of rush-hour periods.

“You can do what we did during the Olympics where you have a regime that tries to have specific marshalling points, areas where the big loads are brought in and then dispersed in a more rational and efficient way,” Johnson said.

“It’s a big technical problem. Internet shopping is creating more traffic and we need to address it.”

Meanwhile, the London Assembly Committee is canvassing Londoners views on commercial vehicle activity in the capital ahead of a meeting in September.

The lobby group claimed light commercial traffic makes up 13% of all London’s road traffic, equating to around 7300 vans per hour during the morning peak.

It said Transport for London and the retail and logistics industries needs to find ways to improve the efficiency and sustainability of commercial traffic in London.

The committee wants opinions to inform its investigations on:

  • To what extent does light commercial traffic contribute to traffic congestion in London, relative to other forms of road user?
  • What is the current and future impact of light commercial traffic on road congestion?
  • How can drones, cycles and electric vehicles reduce the impact of commercial traffic in London?
  • Will sustainable delivery option, such as Click&Collect, out-of-hours deliveries, consolidation centres and vans as a substitute for HGVs, reduce commercial traffic and how can these services be enhanced?

Written submissions should be sent to by 4 September 2015.