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Truth Behind the Headlines: Home delivery boom fuels congestion and air quality concerns

Sector news is reporting that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic consumers are ordering more online and receiving more home deliveries. They say that as a result the number of delivery vehicles registered has increased. 


Drivers, they say, are worried about increased congestion and pollution from delivery vehicles in a post-pandemic world. 


However, the article also highlights that delivery drivers across the world are willing to switch to zero-emission electric vans or share their vans with with other businesses to reduce congestion. 

Using our recommended five tips, Global Action Plan reviewed the study:


Questions to ask to get to the truth Our response
1. Does the article refer to a report to back up its claims? The article refers to the Mobility Insights Report “The New Normal” and data on new light commercial vehicle registrations (delivery vans).  
2. Who is behind the study it refers to?

The report was written by LeasePlan, the survey it is based on was carried out by global research firm Ipsos. 


The registrations data was taken from SMMT – an automotive body that exists to support and promote the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad. 

3. How fantastical and radical is the claim that is being made?

The Mobility Insights report is a specific look at driver opinions (only 9% of respondents do not have any access to a car) – therefore the insights they gather cannot be seen as representative of the whole of society.  Additionally, the report does not explore actual changes in congestion or air pollution rather perceived changes by individuals.   


The report supports media claims that since the beginning of the pandemic, respondents are more likely to use online shopping and opt for home delivery for discretionary spending. The report says 47% of respondents agree with this statement.  


SMMT data reveals that registrations of delivery vans rose for the third consecutive month in November, up 8.8%.  


The report also reveals that 47% of respondents are worried about increased congestion and pollution from delivery vehicles post COVID-19. This is in line with the media reporting that drivers are worried about increased congestion and pollution.  


Finally, the report confirms that 61% of delivery drivers are willing to share their LCVs with other businesses to reduce congestion, as well as switch to zero-emission electric LCVs 75% to reduce pollution. 

4. What geographical region does the claim refer to? The survey was conducted across 22 countries; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
5. What is the sample size of the study?

5000 drivers were surveyed included 253 in the UK.  

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