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Delivering supermarket shopping: More or less traffic?

Cairns, S; (2005) Delivering supermarket shopping: More or less traffic? TRANSPORT REV , 25 (1) 51 - 84. 10.1080/0144164042000218391.

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Abstract

Car travel for food and other household items represents about 40% of all UK shopping trips by car, and about 5% of all car use. In the past 10 years, there has been an extremely rapid growth, albeit from a very small base, of home delivery services for such shopping. As this sector has developed, there has been increasing concern about the growth in delivery traffic, countered by the hope that services are reducing personal car travel. The balance between such tendencies is critical to the overall impact of services. The present paper examines a range of international evidence, including the results of nine modelling assessments. The evidence suggests that with realistic levels of take-up, a direct substitution of car trips by van trips could reduce vehicle-km by 70% or more. More complex shopper behavioural responses will occur, but, according to available empirical evidence, overall traffic reductions are still probable. Meanwhile, the benefits of services could be maximized by use of appropriate cost structures, new types of delivery location, less polluting vehicles, greater cooperation or out-sourcing by retailers, and measures to encourage greater consumption of local produce.

Type:Article
Title:Delivering supermarket shopping: More or less traffic?
DOI:10.1080/0144164042000218391
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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