Fare City, a London based think tank and social enterprise is on a mission to co-create fairer cities through the promotion of more accessible, equitable and sustainable city transport.

The company has released a new research project on the potential of cargo bikes utilization in London’s non-commercial sector.

‘Sharing The Load’ is one-of-its kind report that focuses on non-commercial use of cargo bikes in London. It examines the existing eco-system of cargo bikes in the context of city’s urban environment and transport policy landscape.

Synopsis of the study ‘Sharing The Load’ by Fare City:

London’s commercial cargo bike sector has been strengthened in the last two years, owing to a combination of national and London-specific measures precisely to increase cargo bike usage and funding.

“Cargo bikes are 35% quicker than a motor vehicle in London as they are not only able to access more routes, but are less likely to be caught in traffic” – Ben Knowles, CEO of Pedal Me.

Key motivational factors for non-commercial cargo bike users are – the desire to be less reliant on a private motor vehicle – and for families to transport children and daily errands.

There are possible challenges in the purchase decision of cargo bikes such as safety, regulation, infrastructure, demand, accessibility, and culture – all explained in detail – which might prolong a sales conversion.

The research conducted by Fare City using primary and secondary information argues and analyzes the effectiveness of cargo bike usage with appropriate user testimonials and cases.

In its conclusions, the report observes that there is clearly a role for cargo bikes across the commercial, communal, and non-commercial sectors. Though its growth and penetration is dependent on success of cycling in London, but simultaneously – it increases the chances of experienced cyclists evolving to become future cargo bike owners.

The report outlines three recommendations to promote the non-commercial use of the cargo bike in London:

  1. Fare City calls upon city leaders to pair London’s COVID-19 response directly with cycling as a means of sustaining, and growing, the number of those cycling in the capital.
  2. Establish a ‘Marketplace’ to encourage daily trade using cargo bikes.
  3. London boroughs must provide more options for cargo bike use – hire schemes, retail shops, dedicated parking amongst other services and facilities.

Sharing The Load Policy Report is recommended for planners, policy-makers, research professionals, training institutes, independent consultants, and business houses who perceive bicycles above and beyond its standard capabilities. Download the full report from here.

Cover image: Pedal Me

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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

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