Just over a week after Islington South MP Emily Thornberry’s infamous “white van” tweet the Mayor of London Boris Johnson – an Islington resident himself – has come out and said he thinks that white vans are “terrible”. Well, sort of anyway.
According to The Guardian, Johnson has been speaking in Singapore to financial technology companies, and explained the problem in London:
“We have a problem, folks – all this internet shopping is leading to a massive increase in white van traffic dropping this stuff off – 45% it’s going to go up in London in the next seven years. That’s going to be terrible for congestion in our city and doubtless the same will be true of Singapore as well.
“I look out at this brilliant audience here today, bulging with ideas, and I ask you possibly to solve it. We need a solution … Is it, as I hope, going to be drones? I want to be controlling an app that enables my shopping not only to be click and collect… I want my own personal drone to come and drop it wherever I choose.”
The idea of drone delivery has been talked about for some time, of course – though there are a number of hurdles that will need to be overcome before they can, umm, take off.
It’s a bold idea though – and one that is certainly attractive to tech nerds like us… but surely creating a London that encourages cycling will do more to mitigate the congestion than expensive and untested drones?