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Utrecht looks into introducing merchandise pick-up points

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Monday, September 6, 2010 - 12:32
Utrecht , MIMOSA

Utrecht is working to decrease car traffic in the city centre by looking into establishing merchandise pick-up points at the fringe of the city. Consumers could park their car at the pick-up point and travel to the centre by public transport. After purchasing large or heavy goods in the centre, they could return to the same pick-up point and collect the cumbersome goods there. Is the time right for this innovative concept?

Visitors are extremely important to shops in the centre of Utrecht. Visitors who arrive by car are perceived to purchase more per client because they can load their cars with goods. Keeping these shoppers is therefore desirable - an increase in car traffic is not. One solution is a scheme whereby it is no longer necessary to go to the city centre by car to purchase “cumbersome” goods (large amounts, high volume or heavy weight). Pick-up points can be created at suburban locations that are easily accessible by car or train. Examples of this are transfer points, P+R facilities and railway stations. Consumers can park their car at the pick-up point and travel to the city centre by public transport. After purchasing goods in the centre, they can return to the same Pick-up point and collect the goods there. This innovative logistics concept is called a Merchandise Pick-up Point. Utrecht has just finished a feasibility study in which nearly four hundred consumers and city centre entrepreneurs were approached to survey the market potential and requirements. “Choice travellers”, who make separate transport choices for every trip they make, and current P+R users are more prone to embrace the concept since they are most open to behavioural change. However, the reactions were not only positive. Utrecht will decide later this year whether to set up a pilot Pick-up point within the CIVITAS MIMOSA project, as one of the first cities in the Netherlands. The Merchandise pick-up points are a good example of the indispensable connection between various areas of sustainable urban transport, such as the development of P+R facilities, stimulation of clean freight transport, the promotion of public transport and mobility management.

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