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Efficient Goods Distribution (Usti nad Labem)

Usti nad Labem

Ústí nad Labem elaborated a study to identify the level of noise pollution in the city. Based on the results, the city identified tools to reduce noise from traffic on local roads through traffic planning and management, construction and technical solutions. A plan for efficient distribution of goods in the city was designed. The results of the studies are being incorporated into the city's sustainable urban transport policy.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Ústí nad Labem is located at a railway junction on the important waterway Elbe, and in the near future, it will be fully connected to the major motorway D8 that links Prague with Dresden. However, as a result, there is a large volume of freight related noise, which the city aims to reduce. The city’s industrial centre is constantly busy with freight transport, which contributes to the ever increasing noise levels. To gain a better understanding of the impact of this noise and how it can be reduced, Ústí nad Labem conducted a study to identify measures to reduce road noise within the CIVITAS plus corridor. Based on the results, tools suitable for reducing noise from traffic on local roads were selected. They cover traffic planning and management, construction and technical solutions. In accordance with traffic reduction proposals, a plan for efficient distribution of goods in the city was designed.

Currently, integration of urban logistics in Ústí nad Labem is an issue with many influencing factors. Primarily, the city is a competitive environment. Due to large number of businesses (reception points for supplies) on a relatively small area in the city centre, transport performance of supply vehicles is significant. Each shop and each supplier have their own logistic organisation. In practice, every recipient in the city addresses supply separately, either by own logistics architecture or in combination with transport carried out by distributors. This situation results in a large number of trips performed in the city often by large vehicles serving more reception points. Small operators are supplied with smaller vehicles (light trucks, vans or passenger cars), serving mostly only one recipient and thus increasing number of performed trips. Furthermore, there are traffic flows leading through the centre of Ústí nad Labem, which do not have either source or destination in the territory, nor is utility value added to these goods.

How did the measure progress?

Within the measure, tools for noise reduction and their suitability for implementation in Ústí nad Labem were reviewed. Possibilities to reduce noise through transport planning were examined involving modifications of road line and transverse profile, or intersections. Technical construction solutions for roads and buildings were looked at such as possibilities of road surface, noise protection and/ or architecture and design of buildings. Traffic management solutions were proposed regarding speed reduction, influencing traffic flow, restrictive measures, limiting transport demand and improvements in the vehicle fleet.

Based on the research into urban freight transport, a proposal for an optimal goods distribution system for the city was developed through analyses of the need for urban freight transport, its relations to the flow of goods and a survey of different distribution systems. The costs and benefits of distribution centres and freight villages were compared. It turned out that these would not be suitable options for Usti nad Labem due to the competitive setting of different local companies.

This measure closely relates to another CIVITAS measure in the city on noise reduction that analyses emission maps of road transport in Ústí nad Labem and elaborates solutions. These measures relate primarily to two proposed noise reducing scenarios:

  • Scenario F, which deals with uniform reduction in driving speed by 10% for all vehicles. For freight vehicles, it is meaningful to consider reduction of speed only at localities, where current speed limit exceeds 50km/h, which is approximately the limit, at which noise from engines stops to dominate over noise from other traffic components (i.e. noise from tyres, aerodynamic noise).
  • Scenario G, which is considering hypothetical exclusion of freight vehicles from the urban road network. This solution has a potential for individual carefully examined localities, where a suitable bypassing route is identified and impacts on this alternative route are assessed.

When achieving noise reduction, It is essential to deal with environmental impacts and reduction of exhausted pollution and ensure quality and fluent transport, eliminating congestion, braking and subsequent acceleration. It is necessary to implement measures affecting not only freight transport, but also the predominant individual motor transport.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The research showed that complete banning freight vehicles is not feasible in Usti nad Labem. The city is not primarily a tourist destination and it relies on freight deliveries. Restricting freight transport is an option but may be counterproductive because it could result in an increase of trips by private vehicles. It is therefore necessary to seek a solution that enables to optimise the level of freight traffic, minimise trips, implement logistics arrangements, etc., and, at the same time, maintains economic activities in the affected locality.

Suitable tools include:

  • Reasonable access charge to enter the city centre;
  • Incentive promotion of ecological vehicles (via omission of fees or subsidies, establishment of ecological zones);
  • and Limiting access of vehicles above particular weight in specific localities.

Reduction of noise emissions in the urban environment through reduction of traffic intensity appears to be little effective, due to the fact that even small decrease in noise emissions requires significant reduction of transport intensity, which is difficult to achieve on the urban road network and which is feasible only through radical measures, such as construction of bypasses and consequent transfer of traffic away from sensitive zones. Although, even such measures may only be temporary – released capacity on the original road may trigger new saturation of transport.

It is recommended to seek other technical solutions, such as noise barriers, innovative insulation materials, tunnel solutions, etc. It is also needed to consider measures to control demand for individual motor transport, including reduction of parking spaces in the city centre, charging entrance to specific zones, etc.

For Ústí nad Labem, it is necessary to maintain supply to businesses in the city centre. Solution for urban logistics can be only addressed through infrastructure changes and traffic organisation, together with addressing the entire problem of city motor transport. It is necessary to limit number of trips performed in the central area, excluding all unnecessary trips without its source or destination in the area, which does not bring any benefit to the territory. For this traffic load, it is necessary to provide sufficient alternative route. The optimal solution is to utilise bypasses of the city. Additionally, it is appropriate to regulate traffic in the city centre to discourage drivers from entering the area. Tools suitable for such restrictions include implementation of a system of one-way roads, speed reduction, access restriction to public transport only, etc. Another variant of this solution includes a system of tunnels and bridges proposed for the Master Plan of Ústí nad Labem, which has recently not been accepted by city authorities (currently only a theoretical solution).

These conclusions were incorporated into the SUTP for Usti.

The measure was evaluated together with the measure 28 - Noise reduction in Usti nad Labem.

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