8th January 2018

Square Mile businesses get on their bikes in a bid to cut toxic air pollution

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Businesses across London’s Square Mile will be able to send deliveries via electric-assisted cargo bikes or trikes in a bid to cut toxic air pollution.

The City of London announced plans for a new cargo bike delivery scheme for firms, following a successful trial over the festive period.

It will allow local businesses in the Smithfield and Farringdon areas of the capital to hire a cycle courier to transport goods anywhere within the city’s Congestion Charge zone.

Riders will be able to carry up to 250kg of goods at any time while pedalling to reach their destination.

The City of London will run the scheme in partnership with Zedify, a new zero-emissions delivery company, which was created following a merger between Recharge Cargo and Outspoken Delivery which are British bike delivery firms.

Jeremy Simons, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said: “This new service marks a significant milestone in the introduction of the City’s Low Emission neighbourhood.

“It is part of our wider plan to help reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Square Mile.

“The service will provide local business with an eco-friendly way to move their goods around and reduce air pollution for local residents and workers.”

Sam Keam, director of Recharge Cargo, said: “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.

“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.”

Christopher Hogg, of wholesale meat trader Icefront at Smithfield Market, said: “The cargo bike delivery scheme is a fantastic way of getting our meat boxes to our customers in a fast and efficient manner.

“It doesn’t create any air pollution and it offers savings compared to using vans within the congestion charge zone.”

The cargo bike delivery scheme forms part of the City Corporation’s wider fightback against air pollution, working with businesses to reduce air pollution through its City Air Programme. It is also pioneering a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines on when not necessary and through its City Air app, which provides Londoners with low pollution travel routes across London with advice when air pollution is high.

Other measures in the pipeline including the installation of EV charging points, green taxi ranks, and “growing projects” in local estates.