London City Corporation rolls out electric cargo bike service

Following a successful pilot during the Christmas period, businesses operating within certain Congestion Charge zones will be given access to a cargo bike delivery scheme aimed at curbing toxic air pollution in London.

The City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee announced last week that a cargo bike scheme run in partnership with zero-emission delivery operators Zedify will be rolled out to all local businesses in the Smithfield and Farringdon areas.

Courier riders will use electric-asset cargo bikes and trikes – with load capacities of 100kg and 250kg respectively – to make deliveries to and from a hub located at West Smithfield, replacing diesel vans. Recharge Cargo and Outspoken Delivery also form part of the project.

City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee chairman Jeremy Simons said: “This new service marks a significant milestone in the introduction of the City’s Low Emission neighbourhood.

“It is part of our wider plan to help reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Square Mile. The service will provide local business with an eco-friendly way to move their goods around and reduce air pollution for local residents and workers.”

The scheme is part of the Corporation’s outline for a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN), which is jointly funded by the Mayor of London. Plans for LEN include new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, green taxi ranks and air quality projects in the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate areas.

The cargo bikes can make deliveries anywhere within the Congestion Charge zone, and City Corporation is also targeting idling vehicles in the area through a City Air app. The app provides Londoners with low-pollution travel routes as well as alerts when air pollution reaches dangerously high levels.

Low-emission transition

The scheme is the latest in a long list of combative measures against London’s air pollution levels, which breached annual limits five days into 2017. Last year, the “toughest” emission standard of any world city entered into force in the capital.

The move to electric cargo bikes is a prime example of the ongoing transition away from more polluting diesel vehicles. New figures show that a record number of electric and hybrid cars were registered in Britain last year, as sales for diesel cars continued to decline amid taxes and pollution fears.

In order to accelerate the transition further, a project to boost the range of EVs to 400 miles and above has received £7m in funding from Innovate UK.

Organisations looking to reduce vehicle fuel use, emissions and costs, now have access to a new edie Explains guide which breaks down everything you need to know when it comes to greening your fleet.

Matt Mace

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