Displaying items by tag: transport

 

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It’s that time again, ‘Meet the Operator’! We recently spoke with Head of Operations, James Nellist from Zedify, to find out how their business works and how they work with small and large businesses from different industries.

 

Who is Zedify and what do you do?

Zedify began life in 2018 when our two founders, CEO Rob King and CSO Sam Keam, joined forces and brought their two cycle logistics companies together under one brand and launched a plan to roll out into cities across the UK.

Right now, we have the largest cargo bike fleet in London. We mostly have tricycles in our fleet which hold around two cubic metres of space, which is about four times the size of regular cargo bikes. We do have four-wheel bikes which we used as part of the Bikes for Business bike convoy last June.

We do first and last mile deliveries, pick-ups and we also work with independent retailers and restaurants for their deliveries. Our Cambridge hub even does interdepartmental deliveries at Cambridge University.

To make sure we’re as time-efficient and cost-effective as possible, our deliveries are consolidated; that means we combine deliveries headed to similar neighbourhoods into one cargo bike. That way, there is greater efficiency which is important for environmental savings and cost, so our customers get a better price for the service.

For us, our strapline, ‘better deliveries for better cities,’ is what really sums us up. Cities don’t have to be filled with pollution, and pollution shouldn’t be a bi-product of our sector.

As for our riders, we pay a real living wage, and all of our riders are fully employed, we’re not part of the gig-economy. We support our riders any way we can and they’re paid fairly for their work, with a focus on the quality of deliveries they make. A lot of national companies are about the numbers, we’re about the quality.

 

Do you transport any unusual or large items?

We don’t really transport any unusual items, but we have delivered Michelin star meals from famous chefs which is definitely a bit different!

 

What advice would you give to businesses that are hesitant using a cargo bike service?

Come and see our bikes, particularly our trikes as they’re so large, so they can hold a lot of product or even large items. As well as having a large holding capacity, our riders cover large areas for deliveries, and they don’t get stuck in traffic like vans!

 

Get in contact

If you’re based in SE1, SE16 or SE17 and would like to find out more about getting up to £700 in subsidies towards your own cargo bike, contact our team today at bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call us on 0207 960 2553. Or, if you’d like to contact us to implement your own cargo bike project, contact us at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk.

 

Published in Blog

 

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It’s London Climate Action Week, an annual event which brings together world-leading climate professionals, governments, businesses and communities to find practical solutions to climate change. This year’s theme is ‘Harnessing the Power of London for Global Climate Change,’ focused on hitting net zero targets and building a resilient and strong planet, and economy.

In aid of the week, we decided to take a look at how cities can combat climate change and how we as individuals can make a difference.

 

More Parks and Trees

Green spaces not only help make our cities beautiful and more enjoyable, they can actually decrease daytime surface temperatures. A recent study conducted in Adelaide, Australia, found that additional tree canopy cover and grass cover helped decrease land surface temperature by up to 6 degrees celsius during the day.

What’s more, in central Europe, tree-covered areas have had an even more significant impact on reducing land surface temperatures by up to 12 degrees celsius.

Community gardens within cities are a great way to create these environmental benefits alongside socio-economic benefits. Shared garden initiatives can provide access to fresh produce as well as engaging youth, and encouraging their cognitive development, while helping to deter antisocial behaviour.

 

Travel Planning

For many of us, getting in the car to go to work, travel to school or go for a coffee is an easy solution, but there are alternative ways of getting out and about that are cost-effective, accessible, and environmentally friendly.

 

Workplaces

As workplaces bring their teams back to the office, air pollution is back on the rise as car usage increases. However, there are steps that businesses can take to encourage people to use public transport or bike to work. In Rotterdam, a large medical centre reduced their employee car commutes by up to 25 per cent by charging employees to park outside their office, and giving them the opportunity to ‘cash out’ on their parking spaces by using public transport.

Teaming incentives like this, and providing alternative transport modes is important. Organisations that provide services such as free or subsidised shuttle buses that connect local towns with bus or train stations achieve the greatest increase in employee public transport adoption. In addition, workplaces that provide better security for bikes help to encourage behaviour change.

Bike to work schemes are one of the most popular benefits requested by employees alongside hybrid working. By including a bike to work scheme, you not only help improve the environment but the health and wellbeing of your employees.

 

Universities

Universities can also incorporate travel planning by not just promoting public transport, but by including, or in some cases increasing, their bike storage and cycle lane infrastructure. In 2016, the University of Bristol reduced staff car usage by 27 per cent by improving bike infrastructure and providing public transport discounts.

 

Schools

Teaching the importance of our environment and how we travel is vital for children. Healthy and environmentally friendly habits learnt early on in childhood have a far more significant impact later on in life. Interactive and engaging air quality workshops are a great way to teach children about air pollution while teaching them alternative ways and routes to get to and from school.

For schools in London, TfL STARS is a year-long programme with its own accreditation scheme designed to help schools create school travel plans that are easily accessible and benefit themselves, their pupils and the residential areas surrounding them. Activities are held all year round and are a fun way to encourage children to be active and learn the impact of air pollution. This year, STARS even announced a new micro scooter competition!

 

Accessible for all

In the UK, young white males with medium to high household income are more likely to cycle, and more regularly. Often, many groups such as older individuals, low-income families, disabled individuals or BAME groups have barriers to active travel and do not have equal access to cycling and other sustainable initiatives. Barriers to cycling for these individuals are often socio-economic status, and this enables the inclusion/ exclusion of individuals to certain sports, the cost associated with cycling, and safety concerns (ie. traffic and crime).

It is important that sustainable and active travel implementations are accessible for all and are planned with a range of different needs in mind. This will help focusing on encouraging non- cyclists to start cycling and will help wider members of the population feeling included.

Cities, towns and villages need to be reimagined by putting people first with frequent and reliable transportation that has little to no emissions, and safe cycle infrastructure. Alternative modes of transport and promoting active travel not only benefits our environment, but it improves public health, relieving stress and financial concerns from GP surgeries and hospitals.

If you would like to get involved in London Climate Action Week, events are happening across the city, visit their website to see their full list of events.

 

Contact Us

For more information on our air quality workshops, examples of our work with Idling Action London and School Travel Plans, contact Lauren James at lauren.james@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call 0207 960 2559.

Have you heard about our cargo bike projects? If you’re looking to implement a cargo bike project in your area, contact Leigh Gravenor at leigh.gravenor@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call 0207 9602582.

Published in Blog

 

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 For our ‘Meet the Operator’ series this month, we’ve taken a slightly different take as we talked to Dan Parsons, founding partner, and Head of B2B at Fully Charged, a specialist electric bike retailer based in London Bridge, with a focus on regular eBikes for commuting and leisure purposes and cargo bikes for businesses large and small. Unlike many other cargo bike retailers, Fully Charged have their own dedicated service centre at their central London showroom, to help riders and businesses keep their bikes on the road and in tip-top condition.

After launching as a pop-up in Old Street tube station in 2014, Fully Charged now have four stores across the UK and have even launched their own YouTube channel. Find out more about the retailer, and their team, in our interview.

 

Who are Fully Charged?

In short, we’re a specialist electric bike retailer, and have been operating since 2014. Ben Jaconelli originally launched Fully Charged as a pop-up shop in Old Street tube station. A lot of people thought he was mad to launch a bike shop in a tube station away from cyclists, but what Ben wanted to do was to appeal to people who were not cyclists, realising early on that eBikes were great at getting people’s attention and getting them started or back into cycling.

We now have five sites across the UK; London Bridge, Silverstone (a stone’s throw from the British Grand Prix), Cornwall and Guildford. Our London Bridge branch has an eBike showroom and the UK’s largest dedicated eBike service centre. Silverstone has been open for a little more than two years, whilst Cornwall and Guildford recently opened in 2022.

 

How did you get involved with cargo bikes?

I’ve been working with eBikes bikes since 2008. Before I started at Fully Charged, I was the founding employee of Gocycle and I was originally a supplier for Ben! We got on really well and I was able to give insights and ideas from a supplier’s perspective. He often spoke about joining him at Fully Charged and after a few jabs I joined him in 2017. Since then, we’ve gone from a small team to more than 30 staff with five locations.

 

How has the transportation industry changed since Fully Charged started?

Since we launched, a lot has happened. We’ve seen the congestion charge increase, ULEZ has been implemented and of course, the increase in fuel prices and train tickets. All of these changes have helped people make the move to electric bikes. Last year’s COP26 was vital in raising awareness around electric bikes and the importance of using them, not cars, as a means for transport.

The pandemic has definitely helped the popularity of eBikes and cargo bikes as people wanted to get out and about, enjoy the parks and avoid public transport. Most people wouldn’t have considered using an eBike before, but with the pandemic, that’s all changed!

Cargo bikes have increased in popularity too. Previously we would get maybe one call a month about them and now they’re so popular we have an entire department dedicated to them!

It’s not just small businesses using cargo bikes either. Large food delivery companies, construction firms, facilities management companies and hospital facilities firms are all utilising the benefits of cargo bikes. What many people don’t realise is that cargo bikes are 100 per cent tax deductible and schemes such as the EST eCargo bike fund and Bikes for Business can help businesses receive subsidies towards their bikes.

 

What are the most common objections you get around cargo bikes?

The biggest objection is the one thing none of us can control - the weather! However, a lot of operators incentivise their riders by the number of deliveries they make and given the increased efficiencies of eBikes vs vans and cars, if improving the environment doesn’t incentivise them, then the personal financial incentive does.

Other businesses are concerned about the upfront cost of the bike, however, when you look at the savings that are made from not paying ULEZ and congestion charges, parking fees or PCNs, the lower running costs, (not to mention the increased efficiencies compared to vans), is easily justified.

 

What’s your advice to businesses who are hesitant to using cargo bikes?

Try it, even if it’s a test ride. We can organise test rides at one of our locations, or we can provide an on-site trial.

We also recommend speaking to other businesses in your sector that use cargo bikes and ask them about their experience, or you can read our case studies.

The most important of all, come and speak to us. Every one of us at Fully Charged are experts in the industry and we know our products. We know which bikes are, or aren’t, up to the job and we can support you after the purchase at our 10,000 sq/ft service centre.

Visit the Fully Charged website to find out about their eBikes, cargo bikes, stores and services.

If you’re based in SE1, SE16 or SE17 and would like to find out more about getting up to £700 in subsidies towards your own cargo bike, contact our team today at bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call us on 0207 960 2553. Or, if you’d like to contact us to implement your own cargo bike project, contact us at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk.

Published in Blog

 

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From November 2021 to March 2022, the MP Smarter Travel team visited schools across the UK’s capital, to deliver free air quality workshops and anti-idling activities for Idling Action London, a London-wide behaviour change campaign that has been running since 2016. The organisation campaigns to reduce localised air pollution caused by motorists leaving their engines on when stationary for more than 30 seconds. Overall, we visited 66 schools across 26 London Boroughs, and are funded thanks to the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund.

 

School workshops that make a difference

The aim was to increase awareness of air pollution among school children and to prevent idling outside of schools. The workshops explored what the most harmful pollutants are, where these come from, where they are highest, what their effects are, and how to reduce this impact. Tied in with the school curriculum around science, global warming and the human body, students from all schools were enthusiastic and came up with their own ideas about climate change and pollution.

The younger generation have a fierce interest in caring for the environment and avoiding climate disaster. It was inspiring to follow the students’ thought process as they took in the information and thought critically and innovatively about how to reduce pollution. For example, when we explained that a lot of particulate pollution comes from the friction between the tyres and the road, students asked:

  • Would flying cars would be better for pollution?
  • Is formula one racing harmful to the environment because they drive so fast?
  • Can create particulate matter by walking or cycling?

 

As part of the workshops, children created posters to advertise the danger of idling and convince people to turn off their engines. The best artwork from each school was turned into a banner by the Idling Action team and put up outside their school to remind waiting drivers to protect their children’s vulnerable lungs, hearts, and brains. Some children also had time to write letters to their parents, siblings, or teachers about air pollution, including some interesting facts they had learned and asking them to pledge that they would never leave their car running again.

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Public events

In addition to the workshops, we also delivered 58 events, which took place at the end of the school day when many parents were waiting to pick up their children. During these events, we worked with borough officers and small groups of Junior Travel Ambassadors, Green Team Members, Eco Councillors and School Councillors. We approached drivers, especially those idling, and the children politely asked those idling to turn off their engines and thanked those who were doing the right thing and waiting without idling. The children discussed what they had learned in the workshops and educated the drivers using this knowledge.

 

Pollution in London

Given the number of sources and factors contributing to dangerously high levels of pollution in London, the problem can feel overwhelming, and we can suffer from information overload. It is important, to shine a spotlight on the dangers of idling engines, for several reasons:

  • Idling can create 150 balloons of nitrous oxides, particulate matter, and cyanide, which can be more dangerous than driving.
  • Leaving your engine on when parked can create up to twice the amount of pollution of a moving car. The engine does not burn fuel as efficiently, and the pollution is more localised, as the emissions are released into the same space rather than spread across many streets. Creating this localised pollution is particularly bad if you are idling outside of a school, because it puts our children’s health in danger.
  • It's also unnecessary and often it serves no purpose! Often the reasons people give for idling are myths, which is only supported by the fact that almost all of a car’s emissions are invisible, and therefore, not always evident. Many of the idling drivers we spoke to during this project were not aware of the dangers associated with it and were thankful for the information.

 

Children act as a crucial bridge to parents and guardians. Adults are more likely to listen to their children than anyone else, especially when it comes to their children’s health and wellbeing, so when the students bring the information home, this can be the push that makes them change behaviour. We found that when engaging with drivers during anti-idling patrols at the schools at pick-up time; being confronted (very politely) by the people most affected by the pollution they were creating made the issue suddenly very real. Some students wrote pledges for their parents using their parents’ first language. At one engagement event, we came across a driver who didn’t speak English, a student recognised they were Turkish and translated the dangers of idling. Children can act as a crucial connection to communities that might otherwise be difficult to reach.

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What did we learn?

School children are spirited, passionate ambassadors of change and hold great potential to make the world a better place, and were able to convince 171 drivers to turn off their engines!

We also provide our own clean air workshops for schools, if you’d like us to visit schools in your area, contact us at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk

Published in Blog
12-04-2022

Lauren James

 

Lauren James, Senior Consultant

 

Lauren joined MP Smarter Travel in April 2022 as a Senior Consultant. Her experience to date includes working in travel behaviour change and active travel promotion, having previously working with local authorities across London to encourage targeted active travel behaviour change at workplaces, schools and residents. Lauren has a passion for ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion within active travel and is looking forward to creating meaningful active travel engagement with under-represented groups at MP Smarter Travel.

In her free time, Lauren enjoys exploring London by bike to find new places to relax… and eat!

Published in MP Smarter Travel team
09-03-2022

Ted Davies

 

Ted Davies, Assistant Consultant

 

Ted joined MP Smarter Travel on a part-time basis in February 2022 after spending the prior two years working for a London-based cargo bike logistics firm. At MP Smarter Travel, Ted will be applying his knowledge of the active travel sector to the Bikes for Business project. Outside of work, Ted is studying for a BSc in Urban and Environmental Planning at London South Bank University, and in his free time he can be found on the bike polo court.

Published in MP Smarter Travel team

 

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 This month, we spoke with Ben Knowles, CEO and Rider at Pedal Me. Based in London, Pedal Me are one of the larger, and probably one of the most noticeable, cargo bike operators cycling through our streets. What’s more, unlike other operators, Pedal Me transport both cargo and people! Intrigued? Read on to find out more.

 

What do Pedal Me do?

We're the largest cargo bike only fleet operator in the world, operating 80 cargo bikes right across London and by September we should have 150 bikes. We're ramping up rapidly!

We cover all London postcodes, operating from a nine mile radius from Ludgate Circus. Our base is on Ewer Street, SE1, where we offer consolidation and warehousing services.

Our customers are anyone who needs a person or item transported around London. We carry businessmen to meetings, children to school, cancer patients to hospital; we carry bougie meal kits to people's houses; deliver between restaurants; help people move house - there are very few movements that we can't assist with. The best bit is that - even before MP Smarter Travel’s Bikes for Business subsidies for cargo bike usage - we're cheaper compared to other delivery services.

For people who want to take a cargo bike instead of a cab to get around London, we offer a discount when you book and use the code #PayYourVATUber. You can find out more about that hashtag on our social media accounts.

 

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How did you get started?

Myself and one of the other directors ran a community cycling project in council estates - teaching people from deprived backgrounds how to ride a bike.

As the project got bigger, we needed to move bikes around to support the project - what had started with a handful people had turned into a mammoth project with individual sessions attracting over 100 participants, and running across four sessions a week.

We tried using vans to do this but found them inefficient and slow - we were only able to carry a handful of bikes at a time, and ended up getting parking tickets and getting stuck in traffic. We then got cargo bikes - and found them far more efficient, from there, we had trailers made to follow behind the cargo bikes - meaning one person could move up to 30 bikes at a time, where a van could only carry 15.

It slowly dawned on us that most logistics in cities were being done by motor vehicle, and if that had been inefficient for us it likely was for everyone else too.

I then spent ages trying to encourage logistics companies to use cargo bikes instead of vans, but they wouldn't listen - so we set up our own company!

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What bikes do you use?

We use specially adapted Urban Arrows built specifically for Pedal Me. They’re fitted with more powerful brakes and other bespoke parts and purpose-built front sections.

The other thing that makes us unique is that we have intense, ongoing training programs designed to maximise the potential of cargo bike usage - so we can carry much more, much further, on essentially the same equipment as other companies.

To give you some idea of the scale of difference - compared to most logistics companies using cargo bikes:

  • We can carry 300kg by cargo bike and trailer rig - most cargo bike rigs are set up to carry up to 75kg
  • We can carry 1 m3 on one of our bikes - and up to 7 m3 between a bike and trailer rig; a conventional cargo bike can carry 0.3 m3
  • We cover a radius of 9 miles - covering 254 square miles of London. A typical cargo bike radius might be 3 miles - or 28 square miles.

 

What’s the most unusual thing you/the team have transported?

A five-metre-high dodo sculpture, probably! We've carried all sorts, carrying up to 30 empty beer kegs at a time is one of our regular gigs in the area!

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What advice would you give to businesses who are unsure of using a cargo bike service?

Get on with it, or give your competitors a competitive advantage!

If you’re a local council or a Business Improvement District who’s looking to implement a sustainable transport project or would like to speak to us about any of our other services such as:

  • Air quality monitoring
  • School travel plan support
  • Public consultation
  • Educational workshops

 

If you'd like to find out more about Bikes for Business and how you could get up to £700 in subsidies towards cargo bike deliveries or for your own bike, then contact our team via email at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call us on 0207 960 2553.

 

Images displayed with permission from Pedal Me

Published in Blog

 

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As part of the Bikes for Business project with Team London Bridge, we work with an array of cargo bike operators with a proven track record of service, who pick-up and deliver right across the capital.

This month, we spoke with Findlay Fyfe, Head of Operations, at Mango Logistics, a sustainable delivery, storage and fulfilment one-stop-shop based in London. As one of our largest cargo bike operators for Bikes for Business, you may have already seen their white and green cargo bikes cycling on the road already. Read on to find out who Mango Logistics are and what they do.

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What do Mango Logistics do?

We’ve been around for around 20 years in one form or another, doing deliveries across London. Our entire owned fleet including both bikes and vans, are fully electric.

Our core part of the business is warehousing and fulfilment. Most cargo bike operators only do deliveries, but we have multiple warehouses where we store items and as orders come in, we package them and send them out for delivery. Our deliveries are mainly B2B (business-to-business), with the majority of stock held in our own storage facilities. A lot of the items that we store are wholesale coffee and tea as well as premium food products like caviar. We also store and deliver IT and cabling equipment.

At the moment, our deliveries are all within London, however, we’ll soon be opening a new warehouse and fulfilment centre outside of the capital so we can do national deliveries, which means expanding our cargo bike fleet.

 

Which bikes do you use?

We use the Urban Arrow XL which has a 300-litre box. That size of box can carry around nine large food trays or up to 12 A4 boxes. Essentially, our bikes can carry anything that would normally go in a van. For larger items, we use the Urban Arrow Tender that has a 1000 litre box, it’s incredibly big and still gets through traffic just as easily as a regular cargo bike. For any deliveries over a longer distance, we give each of our courier’s back-up batteries to keep them going.

We also work with B2C (business-to-consumer) firms and do ‘multi-drops’ as the items are smaller and we can deliver a lot of items really quickly and efficiently this way. Multi-drops are typically only done in central London, and only for small items.

 

What are the most unusual or largest items you’ve transported?

As our focus is business-to-business deliveries, we don’t tend to transport anything unusual, for us it’s the volume of products that we transport. Having said that, a lot of people don’t realise that computers or electrical equipment could even be delivered by bike!

 

What advice would you give to businesses who are unsure of using cargo bikes?

If you’re looking to buy a cargo bike, see if there’s a government grant or scheme that you can take part in, you won’t be able to claim the full cost of the bike, but you can get subsidies towards one. These types of grants are becoming more and more common. For example, the Energy Saving Trust announced a grant earlier this year which proved to be really popular. If you don’t get the chance to apply now, keep a look out for new grants as they’ll keep coming around.

When it comes to buying your own bike, buy a quality bike over a cheap one. Cargo bikes can take a battering on the road, particularly if they’re used a lot, so you need to make sure that you have one that is reliable. You may think you’re saving money by buying a cheaper bike, but you’ll spend more in the long run repairing and maintaining it.

If you decide to use an operator, first check where they deliver to first. Most operators, including us, will have a defined area of where they pick-up and deliver items, which is one of the reasons why cargo bike operators can be a more competitive option price-wise. Find out what they can and can’t deliver, generally all cargo bikes are pretty big, so it’s not an issue, but it’s always worth asking the question.

 

Contact

Find out more about Mango Logistics by visiting their website. If you’re a business based in SE1, SE16 or SE17, or make frequent deliveries in the area, contact Leigh Gravenor at leigh.gravenor@mpsmartertravel.co.uk, or on 0207 960 2553.

Alternatively, if you work at a local council and looking to implement a cargo bike project in your area, or would like to discuss any of our other sustainable transport services, contact Oli Ivens at oli.ivens@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call 0207 960 2553.

Published in Blog

 

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Over the course of 2021 a lot has happened at MP Smarter Travel. We’ve started a whole host of new projects such as Bikes for Business for Team London Bridge, low traffic neighbourhood public consultation works for London Borough of Waltham Forest and a new partnership with Idling Action delivering workshops in schools across London.

Alongside these projects, we’ve expanded our team and are now joined by two Assistant Consultant’s Becca Jordan and Leo Charleson, and Senior Consultant, Leigh Gravenor. Come and meet the team!

 

Oli Ivens, Head of Consulting

Having thoroughly enjoyed a degree in Geography from the University of Manchester and with a childhood spent cycling in Belgium, Oli has found his career in sustainable transport consultancy incredibly fulfilling.

Arriving in London post-university with little more than a bag and his trusty bike, Oli worked across 13 London boroughs as a cycling instructor and cargo bike courier. Having joined MP Smarter Travel at a consultant grade Oli worked his way up to Principal Consultant and now to Head of Consulting.

Oli works across all of MP Smarter Travel’s projects as project director, providing output reviews, guidance and training and ensuring that the team maintain their award-winning standards and service. Outside of the office, Oli represents MP Smarter Travel at webinars and conferences, sharing our expertise and creating new relationships.

To date, his key projects have included:

  • Delivery of four cargo bike promotion projects in London Bridge, Brighton & Hove, London Borough of Islington and London Borough of Brent, engaging over 1,500 businesses on sustainable cycle logistics.
  • Conducting educational assemblies and air quality monitoring at 66 Brent schools as part of the borough’s Breathe Clean Project.
  • Consolidated waste delivery trips in London’s Shad Thames area.
  • Designed and developed Healthy Walking Route maps for schools with newly established ‘Healthy School Streets’.

 

Core to Oli’s beliefs is that the standard diesel/petrol car/van does not pair well with dense urban environments. Petrol vehicles pollute, make people sedentary, reduce social interactions and endanger vulnerable road users. Oli’s aim is to combat the issues created by cars/vans, to guide behaviour change and create a safer, healthier, more enjoyable urban environment. 

 

Leigh Gravenor, Senior Consultant

Over the past seven years, Leigh made the transition from training people to cycle, to leading behaviour change and cycle infrastructure projects in a London, to working at Pedal Me, helping it grow from 12 staff to over 60. It was there that he worked across all aspects of the business, dispatching, rider training, riding, HR, customer relations, sales and cycle maintenance. He has also worked on a number of projects helping to install new cycle parking and public cycle hire as well as creating new walking and cycle routes. If that wasn’t enough, he’s even an accredited professional cargo cyclist and cycle instructor!

As Senior Consultant, Leigh provides expert advice and support to businesses and organisations looking to make the switch from cars and vans to using cargo bikes for their deliveries. Leigh is the Bikes for Business project manager, working with Team London Bridge, to engage businesses across SE1, SE16 and SE17 to use cargo bikes for their deliveries

A true cycling and sustainability enthusiast, Leigh has a wealth of knowledge and experience on all things bikes and cargo bikes to help people and businesses switch to sustainable transport options.

 

Leo Charleson, Assistant Consultant

Since joining the team in August this year, Leo’s worked on a whole range of projects focusing on public and business engagement regarding low-traffic neighbourhoods and sustainable freight as part of our Team London Bridge’s Bikes for Business project. Since working on the Bikes for Business project Leo has been working with a range of companies including florists, restaurants, printers and designers, to promote the purchase of cargo bikes or the use of third-party cargo bike services.

Other project work includes engaging the public on low traffic neighbourhoods in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Brick Lane and in Shadwell as part of the Tower Hamlets Liveable Streets project and in Waltham Forest. This work was mainly completed in-person, engaging business owners, and the general public around school areas and outside masjids and churches.

Before joining MP Smarter Travel, Leo gained a BA in Geography from the University of Manchester. He also worked for an award-winning navigation app, Go Jauntly, which promoted walking and other active modes of transport as an alternative to driving.

Find out more about the Bikes for Business project on our website, and if you’re keen to get onboard, contact Leo at leo.charleson@mpsmartertravel.co.uk.

 

Ellie Gooch, Assistant Consultant

Ellie joined MP Smarter Travel in November 2021 as an Assistant Consultant, working primarily on the collection of mode split data, engaging schools and assisting with our sustainable freight projects.

Recently, Ellie completed a master’s in Sustainable Urbanism at University College London, during which she studied the theory and practice of sustainable development and conducted primary research into public perceptions of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. Before joining MP Smarter Travel, Ellie worked with the charity Camcycle campaigning for more, better, and safer cycling in and around the city of Cambridge. Ellie is looking forward to continuing to work towards meaningful changes in the urban environment in her role at MP Smarter Travel. In her free time, Ellie enjoys walks on Hampstead Heath and runs along Regent’s Canal.

Published in Blog

 

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At MP Smarter Travel, we work with a wide range of cargo bike operators, riders and suppliers across London and the south-east, to help businesses make their deliveries more eco-friendly.

With a number of cargo bike projects underway including Team London Bridge’s Bikes for Business and Energy Savings Trust recent grant announcement, we wanted to introduce some of the operators we work with, and this month, we would like you to meet Hugo’s Eco-Delivery.

 

When did you start your business?

We officially launched in January 2021. It was just me and my tricycle doing store-to-store runs for a bakery in Catford. The owner didn’t have time to deliver their food products from their store in Catford to Sydenham, so I started delivering the lunchtime orders. By using a cargo bike we were able to move stock quickly and easily.

 

What types of businesses do you work with?

Since then, I’ve started working with a lot of different retailers, particularly food and beverage companies including the bakery’s suppliers. I quickly started doing wholesale deliveries for Neals Yard.

I also work with a start-up in Dulwich doing their bread runs on Saturday mornings. They do around 150-250 orders every Saturday within Dulwich and Forest Hill. It’s perfect, because cargo bikes are built for doing high volume deliveries in concentrated areas. Right now, I do about 37 deliveries in around two hours.

“Being on a bike gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility unlike a van where you’re in a confined space and have to think about parking every time you make a delivery.”

Hugo Harrison

 

How does Hugo’s Eco-Delivery work?

My business is designed to do high volume orders in small areas, which lowers the cost of delivery. I’ve recently relaunched my website with a new quote calculator, which is based on the distance travelled, not the number of deliveries. The average delivery price with us is around £3, but we charge around £1.20 and we provide discounts for close-by deliveries. Our customers also have the option to book a flexible delivery making deliveries even cheaper.

We do have an electric van for any longer journeys which is great, but we focus as much as possible on local deliveries by bikes. Currently, our riders operate in central, south-east and south-west London. As we grow, we’ll be able to deliver further afield.

 

What bikes do you use?

We worked with Cycles Maximus, who have over 20 years of experience building bespoke bikes, cargo bikes and tricycles. They built my bikes using second-hand frames and motors.

Unlike other cargo bike operators, our tricycles are fitted with torque sensor motors which operate based on the amount of power the riders are providing to the pedals. This provides a real workout leading to tremendous health benefits. I provide all the riders with plenty of healthy snacks and protein bars so they have all the energy they need.

 

What’s the biggest, or most unusual item you’ve transported?

That’s a good question! We’ve delivered a lot of things. Personally, I’ve delivered home fridges and furniture such as sofas, but the most unusual were Christmas trees. You can take the roof off and put them in the container or strap them on top.

We’ve even delivered full kegs. Each tricycle can do about four or five kegs at one time, however, for big deliveries we would use more than one rider. We recently worked with Brockley Brewery after their van broke down. A team of our riders met them at their location and completed their delivery early as we didn’t get stuck in traffic.

 

What advice would you give to businesses unsure about using a cargo bike operator?

There are so many positives for businesses to use cargo bikes, and it all helps make our environment cleaner and healthier for everyone. I would say, don’t get stuck on what you ‘think’ a cargo bike can do, and get in touch, you’d be surprised at just how versatile these bikes are and what they can carry. Here’s why businesses should use a cargo bike operator:

  • Cargo bikes are quicker than vans or cars because they can cut through traffic, and they’re not affected by parking and road restrictions
  • When compared against cars or vans, cargo bike deliveries are cheaper, particularly if you need lots of deliveries done all in one area.
  • We don’t have to pay congestion charge - that’s an automatic saving for the customer!
  • Our vehicles are fitted with live tracking so you know where your delivery is in real-time.

 

Contact us

If your business is located in, or you deliver frequently in SE1, SE16 or SE17, and would like to apply or find out more about Bikes for Business, fill in our online form and our team will be in touch.

Alternatively, if you’re a cargo bike operator and would like to be part of Bikes for Business, fill in our online form and select ‘operator’ for the first question.

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MP Smarter Travel
Unit 109 Linton House
164 - 180 Union Street
London
SE1 0LH

0207 960 2553
info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk