The Cross River Partnership (CRP) has outlined initiatives and recommendations for local authorities to support the uptake of cargo bikes in order to support a ‘green recovery’ as the country emerges from lockdown.
Recent growth in cargo bike deliveries has led to a wider variety of cycle logistics activity across central London, but there is no wholesale adoption of cargo bikes for last mile deliveries and take up seems to be lower in the UK than other countries, accroding to the organisation.
Tom Linton-Smith, Project Manager at Cross River Partnership, said: “Cargo bikes are part of the clean transport mix that is required to keep the city moving, building resilience as we deal with the challenges of economic recovery, congestion, air pollution and the climate emergency.
“In this report we have exposed the challenges and suggested opportunities to work together in new ways to increase their use in London and other cities through knowledge sharing and collaboration.”
The report highlights the historical decline in the availability of land for logistics facilities in London and outlines that delivering the total volume of goods required in Central London requires a combination of vehicles, including HGVs and vans.
CRP says the Covid-19 pandemic may change consumer behaviour and create a trend to more local sourcing or an acceleration towards more home delivery by vans, especially from supermarkets or restaurants.
Some cargo bike operators are working with local groups to provide local assistance and may build a larger customer-base as a result, while others have closed down their operations entirely. History suggests that pricing and product choice may remain the key customer issues in the long term.
As well as recommending a coordination and integration of transport and land use policies and regulations to achieve maximum change, CRP is keen to support its public and private sector partners to roll out last mile innovations in London.
These include cargo bikes for servicing activity, exchange/‘kissing points’ for cargo bikes and/or porters and a ‘white label’ cargo bike trial
Read the full ‘Enabling Last Mile Cycling Logistics’ report here.