Transport Refrigeration Units on London's roads

MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Stephen Knight
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What assessment have you made of the number of transport refrigeration units being routinely driven in London?


Answer for Transport Refrigeration Units on London's roads
Transport Refrigeration Units on London's roads

Transport Refrigeration Units on London's roads

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Diesel powered auxiliary engines on transport refrigeration units are built to different standards compared with on-highway engines. For this reason, they may have higher rates of emission of air quality pollutants than the main engine. However, quantifying the number of units routinely driven in London is complex given that these vehicle and engine types are not clearly distinguishable within traffic statistics or in emissions inventories.

Some exploratory Automatic Number Plate Recognition data suggests that, depending on the time of day, between 5 per cent and 25 per cent of the heavy goods vehicles observed in Central London are classified as "insulated vans." However, this does not give any indication of the type of refrigeration plant employed, or whether these vehicles are transporting chilled or frozen goods, which will determine the level of temperature control necessary.

My officers are considering how best to improve our understanding of this emission source with a view to including it in a future update of the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

This answer was received on 24/07/15.