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Blue Bermondsey BID join Cargo Bikes for Business partnership

We are delighted to be part of Bikes for Business. Bicycles and cargo bikes can offer a fast, clean alternative to motorised deliveries in London. Working with businesses along Central London’s Low Line corridor, the Bikes for Business project is making zero-emission cargo bike deliveries the mainstream solution for business freight.

By replacing diesel/petrol vehicles with more environmentally sustainable cargo bikes, we are working to create a more attractive and appealing destination for visitors, customers, and businesses.

For making the switch to cargo bikes, the project offers businesses:

  • Up to £700 in subsidies;
  • A case study of their business; and
  • Positive advertising.

The Bikes for Business project partners are:

  • BermondseyStreet.London
  • Better Bankside
  • Blue Bermondsey
  • Druid Street Traders
  • Shad Thames Area Management Partnership
  • Southwark Council
  • Team London Bridge
  • Walworth Road LEN

Team London Bridge has received a grant from Impact on Urban Health at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation (formerly Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity) to run this 18-month project and work with businesses to increase use of bikes and cargo bikes for deliveries. Blue Bermondsey is one of the project partners and supporters of the initiative.

“Almost 25% of road transport carbon emissions in the capital came from goods vehicles”

— Transport for London

What is a cargo bike?

Cargo bikes are bicycles with a large front or rear container, and come in many shapes and sizes with two, three and four-wheeled models available. Cargo bikes often have an electric motor that can assist pedalling up to 15.5mph and allow riders to carry up to 400kg. As cargo bikes are classed as bicycles and can therefore use cycle lanes and can be operated without a driving licence.

How much subsidy is available for my business?  

Businesses can receive up to £700 in subsidies. To see how much subsidy you’d receive for switching to cargo bikes, fill in our contact form.

Click on FAQ to expand and learn more about the project.

FAQ

What is a cargo bike?

Cargo bikes are bicycles with a large front or rear container, and come in many shapes and sizes with two, three and four-wheeled models available. Cargo bikes often have an electric motor that can assist pedalling up to 15.5mph and allow riders to carry up to 400kg. As cargo bikes are classed as bicycles and can therefore use cycle lanes and can be operated without a driving licence.

How much subsidy is available for my business?  

Businesses can receive up to £700 in subsidies. To see how much subsidy you’d receive for switching to cargo bikes, fill in our contact form.

What’s the catch?  

In return for subsidies, we require some feedback on your cargo bike operator’s performance. We may also ask you to provide details for the creation of a case study of your business’ use of cargo bikes.

What is the aim of this programme? 

  • To increase the use of cargo bikes for business deliveries.
  • Reduce air pollution, noise pollution and carbon emissions by helping businesses switch to zero emission vehicles.
  • Grow the market for cargo bikes by supporting the promotion of new services and identifying gaps in the market.
  • Make the Low Line area a leading location for cargo bike use.

When will the programme finish?  

The programme will finish in August 2022.

What services can be delivered by cargo bike?  

Cargo bikes can be used for a range of business services and product deliveries including:

  • Catering
  • Couriers
  • Drink suppliers
  • Florists
  • Laundry services
  • Petcare
  • Printing and design
  • Restaurant wholesalers
  • Taxi Service 
  • Tradespeople 
  • Waste collection

Who is funding this programme?  

The programme is primarily funded by Impact on Urban Health who work to tackle complex health issues that disproportionately impact people living in urban areas. Additional funding comes from business improvement districts; Team London Bridge and Better Bankside.

My business is just outside the project area, can we still take part in the programme?  

Yes, if your business services/delivers to customers in the project area then you may be eligible for subsidies.   

Why cargo bikes and other cycles?  

Cycles create zero emissions while in use, they help reduce congestion, are easy to park, are quiet, have lower running costs than diesel/petrol vehicles, are ULEZ compliant and often have faster delivery times.  

What is the load capacity of a cargo bike?  

Most cargo-bikes are electric assisted, allowing them to carry heavy loads. The largest bikes in London have a maximum load capacity of 400kg.  


Myth busters

We put together a series of myth busters. Click on the following statements to find out the truth about cargo bikes.

Cargo bikes are expensive

Not true. However, it is correct that cargo bikes tend to be more expensive than traditional bicycles. Non-electric cargo bike models start at around £2,000, and their electric alternatives range from £3,200 to £11,000. However, due to the way that businesses use cargo bikes, and their maximum load capacity of 400kg, it is important we compare cargo bike prices not with bicycles, but with vans. One of the cheapest electric vans, the NISSAN E-NV200 starts at £23,305. At this price, a business could get two of the most expensive cargo bikes available.

Cargo bikes are a tax-exempt purchase and can be purchased from most retailers through a 0% finance or leasing scheme. This allows the initial cost of the cargo bike to be spread over several months or even years.

The Bikes for Business project offers up to £700 off the purchase of a cargo bike. To claim this offer, please fill in our contact form.

Running a diesel van will be cheaper than operating a cargo bike

Not true. In comparison to electric and especially diesel/petrol vehicles, cargo bikes are very cheap to operate. The Energy Saving Trust have calculated the annual running costs of different last mile delivery vehicles. An electrically-assisted cargo bike costs £5,580 less to run each year than a small diesel van.

Vehicle Annual running cost

  • Cargo bike £295
  • eCargo bike £319
  • eCargo trike £342
  • Small electric van £1,467
  • Small diesel van £6,169

Cargo bikes have a short battery range

Not true. Cargo bike battery range varies with load weight, rider weight, terrain, speed and battery capacity. A rider in London with a total rider, load and bike weight of 120kg will be able to cover 40-50 miles with a single charge. A comprehensive range calculator can be found here.

Cargo bikes have a short battery range

Not true. Cargo bike battery range varies with load weight, rider weight, terrain, speed and battery capacity. A rider in London with a total rider, load and bike weight of 120kg will be able to cover 40-50 miles with a single charge. A comprehensive range calculator can be found here.

Cargo bike batteries take ages to charge

Not true. Cargo bike batteries are charged through a standard mains electricity socket and take between 2 and 5 hours to fully charge from empty.

A cargo bike can’t carry that!

Don’t listen! Cargo bike load capacity varies with each model. A front-loading cargo bike will typically hold between 100-180kg. Larger three and four-wheeled models can carry up to 400kg.

It is true that cargo bikes have their limits, they can’t carry a car for example. But we’re not advocating that cargo bikes are used for every journey!

What do I do with my existing vans and drivers?

We appreciate that businesses looking to transition to cheaper, sustainable and zero-emission fleets may have existing vans and directly employed drivers. In this scenario, we would suggest the following approaches:

  • Use your existing car/van fleet to complete longer distance deliveries that extend beyond London’s city centre. Then use cargo bikes for your inner-city deliveries, dense urban areas are where cargo bikes are most time efficient over cars/vans.
  • Re-train drivers to become riders.
  • If your existing vehicles are on lease, wait for the lease to end, then transition your fleet to cargo bikes.

Cargo bike riders are all un-insured

Not true. The cargo bike itself can be insured against theft and damage, while riders can receive public liability cover and employee insurance. All of the cargo bike couriers we recommend have insurance for their bikes and riders. Please contact bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk with enquiries around cargo bike insurance.

Cargo bike riders are untrained

Not with Bikes for Business. Through the Bikes for Business project, we require all operators that sign our Operator Code of Conduct (now adopted by TfL) to have trained their riders to Bikeability Level 3. This is free training provided by all London boroughs. In addition, we ask that riders receive cargo bike-specific training with a recognised provider. Some business highlight rider behaviour as a key factor in supplier procurement, we will therefore only recommend operators with additional rider training to these businesses. Please contact bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk with enquiries around cargo bike rider training.

Follow us on Facebook The Blue Bermondsey, Instagram BlueBermondsey and Twitter @bluebermondsey for further news about the Cargo For Bikes project.

If you’re a business in the Blue Bermondsey BID area, get in touch here if you have further questions

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