Spring is in the air… And with the longer days it brings comes all the more reason to leave those car keys at home and do more by bike.
Enter Cycle Logistics, a scheme established to encourage the use of cargo bikes amongst businesses and individuals alike.
Running from May 2011 until April 2014 and spanning 12 countries, this EU-funded project aims to “reduce energy used in urban freight transport by replacing unnecessary motorised vehicles with cargo bikes for intra-urban delivery and goods transport in Europe.”
As an organisational body, Cycle Logistics sets out to prompt municipal bodies into creating policies to encourage the use of bicycles and trikes for deliveries, as well as explaining their potential to the transport sector. In cities today, almost all goods transport is carried out by motorised vehicle – invariably light goods are transported over short distances by heavy vehicles, whether these be trucks out on delivery, or individuals using their cars. According to Cycle Logistics, every second trip in urban areas is shorter than 5km, a significant proportion of which could feasibly be covered by bicycle or trike.
As such, Cycle Logistics provides an information pool for both businesses and individuals alike – cycling solutions for everything from commercial deliveries to the school run. It strives to coax people out of their cars, SUVs and vans, and onto their bikes, whatever form they make take. The accompanying website serves as a database for all things cargo – trailers, trikes, electric assist, even simple baskets and panniers.
Additionally, the scheme supports events such as April’s cargo convergence in Nijimegen, Netherlands. The yearly Bakfiets Treffen is a meeting of cargo bike owners, producers and designers, providing companies and individuals the chance to test ride over a hundred different models.
The project itself is represented by a number of European organisations. These include FGM-Amor, an Austrian non-profit research, consulting and educational group focusing on mobility management, as well as the European Cyclist Federation, home to the national cyclists’s associations in Europe and the organisers of Velo City . Other advisors include bicycle consultancy company Copenhagenize, and the UK’s CTC , the national cycling charity that works to promote and protect cycling.
The knock on effect of reducing motorised cargo transportation includes a reduction in energy consumption and CO2 consumption, less congestion and noise levels and – quite literally – more breathing space for city dwellers.
Photos copyright European Cyclists’ Federation, Mikael Colvile-Anderson and Mary Embry.