Health and well-being, International development, finance and environment

Bikes for Business

Cargo bikes are a leading alternative to petrol and diesel vans, with emerging evidence that they can reduce congestion, improve business efficiency, and support the  development of more liveable and healthier cities. 

Bikes for Business is an innovative programme promoting cargo bikes as a mainstream solution for business freight in London Bridge and north Southwark. 

This report presents evaluation findings and learnings for future cargo bike promotion.

Impact On Urban Health Supported By Black
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The evaluation found that over the life of the programme:

  • 150 businesses made the switch to cargo bikes, with 34 purchasing their own cargo bike and 116 trialling a cargo bike courier or service
  • The majority of businesses switching did so from polluting delivery modes, with 30% switching from a traditional petrol/diesel van courier and 36% from their own diesel/petrol van
  • 1043 businesses were given guidance and advice on cargo bikes
  • Annual carbon savings attributable to the programme from the 34 businesses purchasing their own bike are estimated at 16.9 tonnes

While 150 businesses switching is a significant achievement, encouraging businesses to make the switch to cargo bikes was often time-consuming and difficult. Many businesses were strongly anchored in their existing delivery arrangements, making switching both practically and financially challenging. This points to the limitations of behaviour change programmes in the absence of wider policy action to encourage a transition to cleaner deliveries. To this end, the report makes a series of recommendations to increase cargo bike uptake.

For more information please view the project website

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