Major delivery company goes ‘electric first’ in York – and creates 125 jobs
A major delivery company has committed to only using electric vehicles to drop off parcels within York city walls.
DPD wants to expand its electric van fleet and hopes to extend electric vehicle deliveries across the region, from Harrogate to Selby to Scarborough, in the coming years.
The company has secured planning permission to build a new hub on Green Belt land near Northminster Business Park in Upper Poppleton.
Kathryn Jukes, speaking for DPD, said: “Remaining at the current site at Clifton Moor is no longer an option. It simply does not have the space to accommodate DPD’s plans to expand their fleet of electric vehicles.
“Moving to Northminster Business Park will allow DPD’s electric vehicle fleet to expand which means they would be able to have an all electric delivery service across the city.
“That’s right, DPD plan to remove all fuel vehicles from within the city walls.
“This is not something DPD can deliver from their existing depot.”
Unipart had originally been due to move to the site after being told they needed to move from their existing base because it was needed for the York Central development. But the plans did not go ahead and the company has moved elsewhere.
Non-essential traffic ban
Ms Jukes said DPD has plans to expand its electric deliveries to reach more of the city and eventually to make journeys from the hub to Harrogate and Scarborough.
“The vans that take parcels to your house are going to be electric first. They also have some larger electric vans where the range will allow them to deliver to some of the larger employers.
“The idea is that they are going to start pushing for more electric vehicles as battery capacity extends and charging becomes faster.”
The move is set to create 125 new jobs.
The site is on Green Belt land – but it is set to be allocated as an employment site under City of York Council’s draft local plan.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne said: “A depot that is located within sufficient range for the majority of the city to be served by electric vehicle is something we certainly should be welcoming. The fact that they intend to expand that operation to cover the whole region is again to be welcomed.”
People will also be able to visit the hub to collect parcels that drivers were unable to deliver.
Cllr Katie Lomas urged the company to expand its electric deliveries to areas of the city outside the walls and also asked for assurances that the jobs will be well paid and staff will not be on zero-hours contracts.
She added that she has concerns about an increase in traffic in the area, where she highlighted new housing developments are due to be built nearby, adding: “The infrastructure around this area is going to be under significant pressure over the next few years.”
Cllr Nigel Ayre said the project will boost the economy by creating more jobs and releasing DPD’s current site at Clifton Moor for a new company to move in.
York councillors have long been calling for more distribution hubs to open, cutting traffic into the city centre, Cllr Janet Looker pointed out. She said: “This is an absolute spot-on space for employment.”
The plans were approved by a majority vote.
City of York Council has committed to banning non-essential traffic from the city centre by 2023.