EMSOL Selected by Cross River Partnership to Monitor Freight Movements

EMSOL are delighted to have been selected by Cross River Partnership, a non-profit and impartial partnership organisation, to monitor air pollution and noise levels associated with river freight activity on the River Thames. This forms part of the Defra-funded Clean Air Villages 4 project. 

Cross River Partnership has been delivering positive change for London’s residents, businesses and visitors for over 25 years, contributing to the social, environmental and economic health of London.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust are conducting the river freight trial, transporting goods from Dartford in Kent, along the river and into Guy’s Hospital in London Bridge.  The movement of goods to and from the piers is done using electric vehicles.  We’re excited to see the developments from this project to improve sustainable movements of freight for other sectors across London and beyond. 

Pollution from road transport is a leading cause of pollution in the capital. But much of this vehicle activity is required to keep services and businesses running, so the challenge is to ensure that goods are delivered with minimal impact. Businesses have therefore looked to alternatives to heavy-goods vehicle delivery, such as EV, cargo bikes, and river transport.

The River Thames provides an opportunity for freight to be delivered while reducing the burden on the capital’s road network. The River Thames is the busiest inland waterway in the United Kingdom, accounting for five million tonnes of freight. This reduces an estimated 265,000 lorry movements a year off London’s congested roads. Using the Thames provides an opportunity to reduce congestion and roadside pollution but it also has risks that need to be managed. Many inland vessels can be old and highly polluting.

Monitoring by EMSOL will attribute pollution to specific vessels and therefore help to understand the real-world pollution impact of moving freight to inland waterways in London. The EMSOL / Cross River Partnership project is an important opportunity to ensure that transport of goods on inland waterways is done sustainably and with a low impact on local air quality and the local communities