Suggestions have been put forward by the government to replace delivery vans in city centres with smaller vehicles and electric alternatives.
The government’s Last Mile and Future of Mobility report, published this week, has called for evidence on the potential impact on businesses of replacing vans with lower-emission alternatives.
The plans are designed to reduce emissions and congestion in cities during the last mile of deliveries.
However, the report outlined concerns about the limited capacity of smaller, electric alternatives to current vans and how this could impact on certain industries.
It is estimated that there are around 300,000 HGVs and over 4,000,000 vans on the roads in Britain, which contribute significantly to air pollution.
But the report ceded that electric forms of delivery have capacity limitations and are not suitable for delivery of some types of specialised loads.
It also said that urban infrastructure to date has not been designed for use with electric solutions and would require major changes to the way goods are currently distributed, which is typically from large, out-of-town warehouses.
Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “The UK has a long and proud history of leading the world in transport innovation and our Future of Mobility Grand Challenge is designed to ensure this continues.
“We are on the cusp of an exciting and profound change in how people, goods, and services move around the country which is set to be driven by extraordinary innovation.
“This could bring significant benefits to people right across the country and presents enormous economic opportunities for the UK, with autonomous vehicles sales set to be worth up to £52 billion by 2035.
“Our Last Mile call for evidence and Future of Mobility call for evidence mark just one stage in our push to make the most of these inviting opportunities.”