Five business groups across London will get a share of £170,000 to deliver projects that reduce congestion and make deliveries more efficient.

The news comes after Transport for London (TfL), the organisation in charge of the capital’s transport network, announced funding for schemes that improve the city’s traffic flow and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The so-called Healthy Streets Fund for Business is the latest in a line of TfL investments, including the Freight Action Plan, designed to make deliveries safer and more efficient.

View of Petticoat Lane Maret in London

As part of the deal, the five groups of businesses selected will have to match TfL’s investment and introduce ways of making their operation more efficient. For example, waste generated by the historic Petticoat Lane Market in Aldgate will be taken to new compactor machines at a single collection point, reducing the number of waste freight movements, while businesses in Hammersmith will get a new freight hub will enabling them to receive and sort more deliveries at the single location - thus reducing the number of deliveries.

Trolley and van outside warehouse

Similarly, the famous Hatton Garden jewellery area will get its own “waste consolidation centre”, and by appointing a preferred supplier for collection, it’s hoped that a group of businesses will cut both their costs and the number of vehicles in the area. In Bermondsey and Streatham, meanwhile, cargo bike schemes are being introduced, allowing businesses to replace cars and vans with bikes.

Yellow DHL electric delivery bike in London

Heidi Alexander, the deputy mayor for transport, said congestion was causing huge problems for London, and the projects would improve locals’ quality of life.

“We have no option but to be smarter in how our streets work,” she said. “With London's population growing, congestion is not only costly and inefficient for businesses, but has a damaging knock-on effect on air quality and our environment.

“I'm delighted that this funding will not only support innovative projects that reduce the impact of the growing number of deliveries and collections, but also enable more employees to walk and cycle to work. Working with businesses, the roll out of these schemes will keep our city moving, helping improve health and quality of life for everyone.”

Street cargo bicycle in London

Emily Herreras-Griffiths, TfL's travel demand management programme director, echoed Alexander’s sentiments, saying little changes could add up to make a valuable difference.

“We've seen from our work with businesses across the capital the value that small changes to the way that deliveries and other services are made can bring,” she said. “Using the same suppliers as your neighbour and embracing alternatives such as cycle freight can cut congestion, clean up our air and save money. We're really pleased to be working with these business groups to invest in areas across London.

“Our work will help us to create and maintain clean, welcoming and safe streets in which business can thrive while contributing to the capital's continued growth.”