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PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

Bikes instead of lorries

©Vik Banerjee

How do you move your documents and packages around the city with no impact on the environment? No idea, read, on. The answer is…by bike. 

Cargo bikes have been spotted on Brussels streets, and in European cities and capitals. Over 30 companies from across Europehave now joined forces to form the “European Cycle Logistics Federation“. The newly formed federation discusses ways to improve urban delivery and will act as a lobby group to promote cycle based delivery solutions.

Rob King, founder of the Cambridge based cycle delivery company Outspoken Delivery explains: “As a group we will be able to influence and convince stakeholders that freight bikes are a feasible option for delivering cargo in congested inner city areas. More cargo bikes delivering goods means less trucks in city centres and safer, liveable streets for people.”

The move has come about in wake of the EU-funded Cycle Logistics project, which has gathered key players in the field to promote cycle products for the transportation of goods and services.  The Cycle Logistics project believes that about “25% of all trips can be shifted from motorized vehicles towards cycling-related solutions”. Consequently, this would mean a lot of things: from increased space for citizens to enjoy their cities; to a higher and healthier quality of life for inhabitants, to cleaner air and quieter streets.  Given all of the above and many more, the widespread use of cargobikes is something that is undoubtedly bound to conjure up some positive and lasting changes to our urban centres inEurope.

According to research undertaken by the project, 50% of all light goods, and 25% of all goods could be moved by cycle. Similar studies in Breda (the Netherlands) have found that of the 1900 trucks that go in everyday, less than 10% of the cargo being delivered requires a truck and 40% of deliveries involve one box.

The Cycle Logistics Federation has planned to meet on a regular basis to discuss how to get even more goods out of trucks and onto bicycles. 

Further reading:

ECF Factsheet: the Future of Goods Delivery

Cargo bikes as transportation vehicles for urban freight traffic (June 2012, master thesis)

EU project : cycleLogistics

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