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Parcels not Pollution: Why Cargo bikes are the next Big Thing

Clean delivery: Parcels on two wheels are becoming a more common feature on London’s gridlocked roads

Hammersmith council has a knack for catchy slogans like “brilliant for business”, but its latest buzz word for its zero-emissions cargo delivery service, “parcels, not pollution”, will get its residents breathing lungfuls of clean air and reduce the carbon footprint in this west London borough. Its Business Improvement District was recently awarded £50,000 funding from Transport for London (TfL) in the tie-up with e-cargobikes.com. The project aims to reduce traffic, ease congestion and improve air quality in Hammersmith’s town centre, notorious for its traffic snarl-ups around the A4 Hammersmith gyratory system and its King Street thoroughfare.

Local businesses including Kings Mall Shopping Centre, Regus, the Ark building, and the Lyric theatre have already signed up to use the service. This will reduce the number of freight vehicles on the roads in Hammersmith, particularly at peak times.

Goods will arrive at the e-cargobikes.com warehouse in Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill and deliveries will be made the same day they are received provided they are dispatched before 3pm, with no difference in the service to the customer and no extra delivery cost. A designated Hammersmith cyclist will service the area from 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Interested clients can also register for the service via the e-cargobikes’ website. Pop-up information sessions for businesses have been planned to field questions about the service and to encourage more companies to sign up to the scheme.

Patricia Bench, Hammersmith BID Director, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding which will help us achieve our objectives to reduce the number of, and emissions from, freight and goods vehicles in our town centre. We look forward to working together with TfL, Hammersmith & Fulham council and our partners to achieve these goals.”

Emily Herreras-Griffiths, TfL’s Travel Demand Management Programme Director, said: “We’re investing with business groups across London to enable more people to make the switch to cleaner, greener and more efficient ways of moving goods around the capital. Hammersmith BID’s new zero-emission cycle freight service, part-funded by TfL, will help reduce the number of vans and lorries on local streets, particularly at peak hours, making a real difference to local air quality, congestion and road danger.”

Clare Elwes, Co-Founder of e-cargobikes.com, said: “We’re excited to announce the launch of Parcels Not Pollution, working in Partnership with Hammersmith BID and H&F council to ensure the streets of Hammersmith are cleaner, safer and less congested. E-cargobikes.com offer sustainable last mile delivery solutions – if you are considering how your company could join in and reduce its carbon footprint then it’s time to get involved and get in touch – be part of the solution! Pass it on…” 

To use the service, when you order items to be delivered simply enter the address below, instead of your usual address:

Addressee, Company Name
C/O e-cargobikes.com
Unit 3-4
69 St. Mark’s Road London W10 6JG

ANALYSIS: The Cargo bike Revolution

Air pollution: Congestion charge sign next to a road sign in central London where congestion charging for motorists was launched. But the scheme has not been able to solve the pollution black spots in most London’s neighbourhoods and suburbs

Many town halls have jumped on the climate emergency bandwagon unfurling giant banners to proclaim their love of the environment and net-zero pollution pledges. Now enter the cargo bike, a peculiar contraption once popular with parents with green credentials ferrying their children to and from school. It has already been the year of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez), Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion, and now for some pedal power.

Motherboard, a crowdfunded film depicts what a world populated with cargo bikes would look like, produced and narrated by filmmaker Liz Canning, the documentary celebrates the humble beginnings, freedom and revolutionary potential of the utilitarian cargo bike.

Electric cargo bikes deliveries like Hammersmith’s are gradually becoming a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way to deliver goods across London’s narrow streets and business districts, enabling firms to receive and sort deliveries at a single location. But to make any impact more businesses and residents will have to use the service.

L’Oreal, Victoria Beckham, Ynap Net-a-Porter, Walt Disney, Dunhumby, Harrods, etc. are just some of the firms that have made this west London neighbourhood their headquarters and a popular business hotspot, but with prosperity comes pollution with an economy constantly powered by mobile and digital technology and the complex logistics of distribution needed to fuel the different sectors.

Pollution solution: An e-cargobikes.com cyclist demonstrates the ease of using the service

Many firms are now so environmentally-saavy and the Hammersmith experiment could herald a much-needed awareness that every delivery made by a non-polluting form of transportation brings health dividends to everyone. It could also nudge others into action, from providing the address of a cargo bike company on their orders and seeing the uplifting results.

Deliveries are vital to London’s economy. Half the value of household expenditure, around £79bn, relies strongly on road freight. However, goods vehicle movements in the capital have increased by around 20 percent since 2010, contributing to poor air quality, congestion and traffic fatalities. Many freight movements are made during the morning peak rush hour, when there are higher numbers of vulnerable road users — BB

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