Following successful trial over Christmas, bicycle deliveries will be rolled out to businesses across the Square Mile
The City of London is rolling out a pedal-powered approach to the air pollution crisis, last week announcing plans for a new cargo bike delivery scheme for businesses across the Square Mile.
The delivery programme, which proved popular during a Christmas trial period, will mean local businesses in the Smithfield and Farringdon areas of London can hire a cycle courier to transport their goods anywhere within the city's Congestion Charge zone.
Riders will pedal electric-assisted cargo bikes or an electric-assisted trike, carrying up to 250kg of goods at any time.
The scheme will be run by the City of London in partnership with new zero-emissions delivery firm Zedify, which was created after a merger between British bike delivery firms Recharge Cargo and Outspoken Delivery.
"We are thrilled to be setting up a new operation at Smithfield that enables us to offer local businesses fast, efficient and cost-effective delivery and distribution services within central London," Sam Keam, director of Recharge Cargo said in a statement. "We are looking forward to expanding the operation in the coming months to provide zero-emission services that help to address the critical issues of congestion, air pollution and quality of life for Londoners."
The scheme already has the backing of local traders, including Icefront, a wholesale meat trader at Smithfield Market. "The cargo bike delivery scheme is a fantastic way of getting our meat boxes to our customers in a fast and efficient manner," the firm's Christopher Hogg said. "It doesn't create any air pollution and it offers savings compared to using vans within the congestion charge zone."
Bike deliveries are part of the City of London's plan to become a 'Low Emission Neighbourhood', with other measures in the pipeline including the installation of EV charging points, green taxi ranks, and "growing projects" in local estates.
Similar services are already popping up elsewhere in the capital. In November UPS launched a trial 'depot-to-door' delivery system, where bikes, power-assisted trailers and on-foot couriers completed the last leg of deliveries.
UPS is now assessing the results of the two-month trial, but hopes it could "change the way packages are delivered in cities in the UK".
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