Department for Transport considers compulsory online orders charge

No more free deliveries? Department for Transport considers putting compulsory charge on ALL online orders to ‘combat harmful emissions and congestion’

  • DfT suggested the charge as a way of combating the online shopping boom
  • Scientific advisors suggested a charge similar to the one placed on plastic bags
  • Annual nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vans rose 43 per cent between 2007 and 2017

A compulsory delivery charge on internet orders is being considered by the Government, it was reported last night.

The fee is intended to combat congestion and toxic emissions, and comes as the Department for Transport (DfT) is looking at ways to reduce the impact of the online shopping boom which has resulted in more delivery vans on the roads.

Scientific advisors suggest that a ‘mandatory charge’ like the one for plastic bags should be considered for all Amazon-style deliveries, according to The Times.

Consumers have started ‘over-ordering’ due the number of free and next-day delivery deals advertised.

And some even immediately send back the items they no longer want, free of charge.

Scientific advisors suggest that a ‘mandatory charge’ like the one for plastic bags should be considered for all Amazon-style deliveries

Ministers were told that the mandatory charges might ‘encourage more sustainable behaviour’.

The DfT is reportedly considering the proposal and could open up a public consultation.

This comes after concern of the impact internet shopping is having on the environment and the amount of congestion in built-up areas.

Annual nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vans has risen by 43 per cent to 99,300 tonnes between 2007 and 2017, according to data from the DfT.

But the total number of NOx emissions from the other forms of transport like cars and buses has fallen over the same period.

Vans caused a quarter of all NOx road transport emissions in 2017.

Light commercial vehicles, which include delivery vans, travelled 50.4 billion miles in the UK in the year to the end of March.

This is a 24 per cent rise in a 10-year period and is more than four times the average rise for all vehicles.

And most vans are diesel-powered which worsens the environmental impact and the NOx can cause breathing difficulties and lead to chronic lung disease.

To combat this, the DfT offers a grant of £8,000 to reduce the cost of an electric van.

A spokeswoman told The Times: ‘Cutting congestion and vehicle emissions in our towns and cities is absolutely key to improving air quality and building a greener transport network. 

‘We continue to work closely with experts on the best ways to achieve that and to meet our ambitious 2050 net-zero target.’

This comes after concern of the impact internet shopping is having on the environment and the amount of congestion in built-up areas

Shopping lists could save you hundreds each year 

By Fiona MacRae 

Planning what you need to buy ahead of a visit to a food shop might sometimes seem a bit of a chore, but it could save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Having a shopping list can help you spend up to 20 per cent less, a study has found. With the average family spending £60.60 a week on food, this could equate to more than £600 a year in savings. Researchers from Ottawa’s Carleton University asked participants to do their normal shop online and their bills were then analysed.

In the first experiment, with 132 participants, those who made a list bought four fewer items and spent 20 per cent less – even when they didn’t refer to their lists.

Having a shopping list can help you spend up to 20 per cent less, a study has found. With the average family spending £60.60 a week on food, this could equate to more than £600 a year in savings

In the second experiment, which involved 262 participants, a budget was set. Those who made a list still spent 14 per cent less.

A third of participants said they always make a list, with most doing it on their phone. Just 9 per cent said they never do. Researcher Mariya Davydenko, a psychologist, said writing a list provides a ‘concrete plan’ that the shopper then tries to follow.

She added: ‘Even if the effect of shopping lists on consumer behaviour is small for any one shopping trip, consistently using shopping lists may be a way to save money in the long run.’

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