The Duke’s Deliveries

Our roads remain one of the most important elements of our urban infrastructure, and with few exceptions, we aren’t making any more of these in the heart of our cities. As building heights go up the utilisation of roads similarly rises until at some point the whole thing breaks down. This is a major challenge for city planners and local government. But if you own enough land, it is also your challenge, in that your estate becomes less workable and more polluted. There are however private solutions. Reported in The Times last week, the Grosvenor Estate has rationalised its 21 daily deliveries to its HQ in Mayfair by investing in a delivery depot in Bow and using a single electric shuttle into its estate. If the pilot scheme proves successful, then it might be rolled out to thousands of residents on the estate. Whilst banning cars from adopted highways remains a matter of public policy, the owners of large development sites may still look for commercial workarounds to disincentivise increasing traffic volumes, and in doing so increase the attractiveness of their estate.