Bikes for Business Wraps Up

Bikes for Business cargo bike convoy in Westminster, London

June 6, 2023

After a successful two years working with businesses across the Low Line in London Bridge, phase two of Bikes for Business has now closed. Over the course of the project, our team, in partnership with Team London Bridge, Better Bankside, Southwark Council, Shad Thames, Spa Terminus, Blue Bermondsey, Walworth LEN and Druid Street Traders, has worked with a range of businesses to help them transition from cars and vans to cargo bikes for deliveries and collections.

The project helped over 140 businesses across London Bridge, Bermondsey, Elephant and Castle and Southwark to make their deliveries and collections greener – totalling nearly 200 businesses switching to cargo bikes across phase one (2019) and phase two (2021-2023) of the project. We’ve also introduced businesses to a range of services delivered by cargo bike, connecting them with greener service providers. From independent tradespeople to coffee shops, and from advertising firms to pet walking and veterinary services, cargo bikes have proven to be fast, cost-effective and versatile!

Key achievements

  • 143 businesses took part in phase two of the project
  • 92 used a courier or delivery service
  • 30 bought a bike
  • 21 used another service provided by bike, such as electricians, catering or office supplies

“Before I had to plan my deliveries in advance and work out how I was going to pick up my own orders and drop off my recycling, and that meant that I could only do deliveries once a week. My cargo bike carries everything I need and I can do my deliveries when my customers need them really quickly and get back to my business.”

Kitty Travers, Owner, La Grotta Ices

Not ‘one size fits all’

Just like any other form of transport, makes and models vary, giving businesses the opportunity to find a bike that works for them. Throughout the project, our team has provided companies advice on a range of models, and have helped them either purchase bikes such as the Urban Arrow Cargo L/XL complete with a container able to carry up to 150kg, Tern GSD and Riese & Muller Pakster 60, to name just a few.

For those who didn’t require their own cargo bike and only wanted to have items delivered or collected intermittently, we partnered with a variety of couriers, all of whom have different models in their fleet enabling them to carry different items, and advised prospective businesses which would best suit their needs. To find out about some of the operators we worked with read our ‘Meet the Operator’ blog series, where we interviewed Zedify, Spedal, ecofleet, Pedal Me, Mango Logistics and Hugo’s Eco-Delivery.

As part of the project, services delivered by cargo bike were also eligible for subsidies including landscaping, electricians, laundry and even paper supplies!

Events

Throughout the lifetime of the project, we hosted, and attended, a range of events promoting Bikes for Business and advocating for the use of cargo bike schemes. Here are some of the key events from the past two years.

June 2021 – Phase two launch event in Southwark Park with convoy through Bermondsey, London Bridge and Southwark. Coverage in Sky News, BBC Radio.

March 2022 – In partnership with Blue Bermondsey, we hosted an event at the Biscuit Factory solely for businesses based there to promote the project.

March 2022 – We hosted a day-long event just for traders at the historic Borough Market and were joined by cargo bike retailers, couriers and service providers demonstrating the versatility of cargo bikes.

May 2022 – Bikes for Business was featured in local community paper, Elephant Magazine.

July 2022 – We celebrated the one-year anniversary of phase two of Bikes for Business with a cargo bike cruise across Bermondsey, London Bridge and the Northbank with our project partners and suppliers.

September 2022 – Transport for London cargo bike industry workshop

November 2022 – Launch event hosted by Just Economics, for their cargo bike paper ‘Delivering Value,’ which used data from the project.

November 2022 – Head of Consulting, Oli Ivens, participated in London Assembly’s Economy Committee roundtable on cargo bikes using key findings from Bikes for Business.

As part of the Cargo Revolution campaign, we are helping to create the first ever Cargo Bike charter alongside Impact on Urban Health, Clean Cities Campaign, Team London Bridge and Glimpse. The Cargo Charter is a new initiative encouraging local authorities to commit to helping businesses switch to cargo bikes, which we are expecting to launch in London in 2023.

With the project now closed, MP Smarter Travel will continue to work with local authorities and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across London and England to implement cargo bike projects for businesses and communities. Find out more about our most recent work, and upcoming projects in our blog. If you’d like to find out more about implementing a project in your area, contact our team.