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Short Term Actions to Reorganize Transport of goods (START)

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An efficient distribution of goods is crucial for the vitality of the centres of European cities. Current goods distribution however, causes emissions and is not necessarily energy efficient. Complementary to the long-term planning to make goods transports more efficient, the cities within START, Bristol, Goteborg, Ljubljana, Ravenna and Riga, took the short term approach and combined actions such as access restrictions, consolidation centres and incentives. These measures benefited both businesses and citizens by making the goods distribution more energy efficient and hence reduce the related air pollution. The START approach was based on close collaboration between the city government, transport companies and local businesses formalised in local freight networks, which established in every partner city. The networks had periodic meetings where the activities and the progress were discussed. The networks served as an effective marketing tool towards the transport businesses.


  • Local freight networks have been established in the partner cities thanks to close collaboration between municipal authorities, transport companies and local businesses.
  • The project has developed regulations for both new and expanded restricted areas in its partner cities. In addition, it has implemented a programme of incentives designed to reduce freight traffic.
  • Concrete results include: Implementation of a consolidation centre in the Lindholmen area of Gothenburg, leading to a 51% reduction in CO2 emissions; further development of the Bristol consolidation scheme, now serving 72 retailers, which has resulted in a 78% reduction in vehicle movements among the participating companies; more than 40 drivers trained in eco-driving in Bristol, resulting in 8–13% fuel efficiency savings;
  • Through an articulated package of incentives, the number of CNG vehicles (private and commercial) in Ravenna has increased by 3 925 during the project; Improvement of urban freight distribution through consolidation of deliveries. The pilot project in Ravenna reduced the number of trips by 4%.

Lessons learned

  • The private sector is facing increased pressure such as resource optimisation, legislative pressures and consumer demands which can lead to increases in cost and environmental impacts. Participation in a network can alleviate some of these problems as it enables operators to find smarter solutions on goods distribution
  • Early involvement of private partners generates benefits by allowing private operators to assist in the design of a coordinated approach and to achieve acceptance for the measures
  • A local freight network will facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences amongst its users, which enables a focus to be generated on recurring items

Partners and coordinator

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City of Göteborg, Traffic and Public Transport Authority
Contact point: 
Lisa Sundell
0046 31 61 37 24
Mr Håkan Perslow


Key documents

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In brief

01/02/2007 to 31/01/2009
Contract number: 

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