Bikes for Business: Roach Matthews

The team at Roach Matthews

August 30, 2022

Since 2019, Bikes for Business has been working with businesses of all sizes across the Low-Line in SE1, SE16 and SE17, to help make their collections and deliveries greener with the aid of cargo bikes. The project offers subsidies to eligible businesses to either purchase a cargo bike or to trial a collection/delivery cargo bike service and get up to 50% off their use. With a network of independent cargo bike couriers across London who are able to transport anything from recycling to food and from furniture to electrical equipment, the options are endless.

Directors, James Roach and Andy Matthews of Roach Matthews, an architecture practice based in Bermondsey, recently participated in the Bikes for Business project to purchase their own cargo bike.

Who is Roach Matthews?

James: We’re an architecture and design practice based in Bermondsey. We work with private clients, housebuilders and cafe/retail companies to help create and redevelop projects that are meaningful.

How do you use your cargo bikes?

James: We’re often travelling around London, going to meetings or site visits and we often take samples with us. Some of the materials we take, such as brick samples, can’t be carried on a normal bike, so before, we had to use public transport or use a car which wasn’t ideal.

Since getting our cargo bike, we’ve not had to use public transport or our cars – it’s all been by bike. Recently, Andy cycled to a meeting from London to the Kent/Surrey border and cycled back, without any problems or delays. Having a cargo bike really transforms how we travel and helps making more trips like that a possibility.

I recently cycled from my home in South East London to Richmond for a client meeting carrying three lots of brick samples, then I cycled to a site meeting in Kentish Town and cycled back home. The whole day was about 50-60k and probably took me about half the time to do it compared to using a car or public transport.

“The whole day was about 50-60k and probably took me about half the time to do it in compared to a car or van or public transport. It transforms our ability to get to places.”

James Roach, Architect and Director, Roach Matthews

Andy: When the ULEZ came in, I wanted to reduce how much I was using my van as much as possible. With a cargo bike, there’s so many local journeys that can be done with that which normally you’d use a vehicle for.
Having a cargo bike is also a good conversation starter with people, and they’re a lot more popular than they were 18 months or so ago. In fact, cycling in general been a great way to network and get leads for us!

At one point, cycling brought us about 70 per cent of our leads. Networking when you’re cycling takes the pressure off events, when you cycle, it’s much easier to move around a group and chat and people are more relaxed. We now run our own cycling events and we use it to meet people in our field.

“At one point, cycling brought us about 70 per cent of our leads.”

Andy Matthews, Architect and Director, Roach Matthews

Commuting by bike helps us get some headspace and to mentally prepare for the day or meeting ahead.

Riding on a cargo bike is more comfortable than a regular bike and it gives you so much freedom. If I’m transporting a lot of equipment, I try and pack the cargo bike so that it’s secure, and visible for other drivers. It’s also much sturdier in general.

How did you come across Bikes for Business?

James: We got a flyer through our workspace. We were already thinking about getting one, so we decided to go for it. I filled out the online form, got a call from Leigh and talked through what we would use it for and how it would help. In fact, I would say that the cargo bike has helped us more than we thought it would – it also means that I can bring my dog to work in half the time!

The bike we ended up getting was an Omnium from our local bike shop, who were able to set it up for us.

How did you find the process?

James: The original conversation was very heartwarming and they were keen to help us get the right bike for our needs. After we purchased our bike Leigh checked in to see how we were going which we really appreciated.

“You’ll find it [cargo bike] one of the most valuable things that you have in your workplace.”

James Roach, Architect and Director, Roach Matthews

What advice would you give to any business looking to get a bike?

James: Just do it, you’ll always find a use for it and will probably find it the most valuable thing that you have in your workplace.

Andy: It’s hugely liberating.

James: There are so many models available, and it makes life so much easier. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never cycled before, you can get on a cargo bike and cycle straight away!

Find out more about Roach Matthews on their website.

Get in contact

If you’re based in SE1, SE16 or SE17 and would like to find out more about getting up to £1000 in subsidies towards your own cargo bike or up to 50% off a trial with a cargo bike courier, contact our team today at bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call us on 0207 960 2553. Or, if you’d like to contact us to implement your own cargo bike project, contact us at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk.