Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a new plan to promote and expand the use of cargo bikes within the capital.

Under this new action plan, TfL will work with boroughs, businesses and freight industries to ensure more goods are delivered using safe, clean and efficient modes of transport.

Cargo bikes offer an environmentally friendly method for making last-mile deliveries

Currently, 90 percent of goods in London are transported by road, which negatively impacts air quality in the city.

Cargo bikes thus offer a cleaner alternative that could deliver considerable air pollution savings, while also helping companies to complete deliveries faster and at a lower cost. They are already used by major businesses such as Amazon and DHL.

By further promoting their use, TfL believes that cargo bikes could replace up to four percent of van kilometres by 2030, with the highest growth expected in Central London, where they could replace up to 17 percent of van kilometres by the same year.

Across Greater London, this shift is expected to result in carbon savings of up to 30,000 tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030.

Cargo bikes also present less of a risk to people walking and cycling compared to vans and HGVs. This shift could therefore help make London’s streets safer and more attractive for people using public and active transport.

Christina Calderato, TfL's Director of Strategy and Policy, said:

Freight and servicing are the lifeblood of London's economy but also contribute to air pollution, carbon emissions and traffic congestion. We are determined to provide a green, healthy and sustainable future for all Londoners and cargo bikes can play a vital role in cutting carbon emissions, air pollution and road danger.

TfL launched its action plan on 31 March at the National Cargo Bike Summit in London to set out ways to promote cargo bike use and address barriers that inhibit or prevent their use.

The plan’s key actions include:

  • Developing a London safety standard for cargo bikes
  • Providing space such as micro-hubs and parking to support last-mile operations
  • Monitoring key cargo bike routes are across the city to identify usage patterns and project future growth
  • Ensuring adequate capacity for cargo bikes when designing future cycling schemes
  • Promoting cargo bikes when planning schemes such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs)
  • Providing businesses with the tools and information to confidently make the switch to cargo bikes
Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said:

Cargo bikes are no longer a niche concept, and they can be real game changers when it comes to delivering freight and servicing trips. Not only do they provide environmental benefits by not contributing to air pollution, they also make journeys more efficient, and present a much lower risk of danger to people walking and cycling than vans and HGVs.

I'm delighted that TfL is launching this action plan to explore how we can grow the use of cargo bikes on our road, to help both the environment and the health of Londoners, and build a better, safer, greener London for everyone.


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