Displaying items by tag: London Bridge


This September, MP Smarter Travel had the pleasure of speaking at Fully Charged’s, first ever eCargo Bike Summit alongside a wide range of commercial cargo bike operators, active travel experts and the Energy Saving Trust (EST), facilitators of the Department for Transport’s current eCargo bike grant.


London air quality

Air pollution in the UK has now been above legal limits for 10 years, not least of which is caused by the number of motorised last-mile deliveries on our streets. According to the Mayor of London’s office, 36 per cent of trips made in London are under 2km (that’s 1.25 miles), a distance that could be walked in around 30 minutes. What’s more, research conducted by King’s College London found that 99 per cent of Londoners live in areas where pollution exceeds guidelines recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Businesses need to act to help reduce air pollution, yet despite the number of research reports and overwhelming evidence of London’s poor air quality, many businesses are still unaware of the zero-emission transport options that exist across the capital and nationally. For this reason, we feel it is key that as many people and businesses hear about eCargo bikes as possible.


eCargo bike summit 

Fully Charged and EST’s event consisted of several inspiring and thought-provoking talks from experts in the industry ready to take up the gauntlet and combat air pollution. 

Recently, the EST, in partnership with the Department for Transport, launched a £400k fund whereby businesses could receive up to 40 per cent off the cost of an eCargo bike. Rachel Swiatek from the EST attended the event and gave an insightful look into the nuts and bolts of the fund, showing how businesses can apply. The 40 per cent saving makes for a compelling economic argument to offset the initial cost of eCargo bikes for businesses! 

Following this, Dan Parsons, Founding Partner of Fully Charged, was joined by a panel of experts including Farah Asemi (Ecofleet), Tom de Wilton (Oxwash) and MP Smarter Travel’s Head of Consulting Oli Ivens, for an open question and answer session. Discussions focused on the opportunities, challenges and the future of commercial eCargo bike adoption.  

Tom de Wilton described how eCargo bikes require lower upfront and running cost in comparison to diesel/petrol vans. eCargo bikes also offer more time-efficient deliveries. Both economic and environmental factors were instrumental in Oxwash choosing an eCargo bike fleet for their laundry services across Cambridge, London and Oxford. The fact that 6,700kg of CO2 is saved per eCargo bike, compared to vans, echoed the environmental benefits of their fleet adoption. 

Farah Asemi acknowledged that the transient nature of rider staff can be a hurdle for third-party operators and stressed the importance of having a steady pool of riders in order to meet schedule demands. In addition to this, a robust software platform was also recognised as essential in keeping delivery operations on schedule.  

Several key factors were discussed in continuing the commercial growth of eCargo bikes. Oli Ivens identified that transport policy is becoming increasingly conducive to supporting active modes, such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion. Brownfield sites in urban centres will continue to provide a tangible solution in locating new consolidation hubs, which will be instrumental in ensuring last-mile efficiency in the coming years. 

We also learnt that last year in the Netherlands and Germany, there were more ebikes sold than standard cycles and that Germany is experiencing a 50 per cent year-on-year growth in the cargo bike market. In our view, a growing eCargo bike sector, with a greater variety of professional operators is key to bringing eCargo bikes into the mainstream.  


Business engagement 

MP Smarter Travel deliver award-winning projects across the UK that work to accelerate the uptake of eCargo bikes. Through MP Smarter Travel’s business engagements, we have found that companies are putting a stronger preference on their environmental image and CSR and therefore require clean alternatives to their existing polluting vehicles. From the content of discussion at the eCargo Bike Summit, it would appear that eCargo bike operators are primed and ready to lead the way in reducing urban air pollution and providing businesses with a tangible solution to improving their environmental image. eCargo bike operators are extremely professional outfits, promoting high quality rider training, environmental accreditations, delivery tracking and insurance. With both the environmental and economic arguments supporting eCargo bikes, we expect to see a gradual increase in eCargo bike take up over the coming years. If you would like to see eCargo bike take up accelerated in your area, contact MP Smarter Travel to discuss the best approach.     


Watch the Q&A online 

Watch the full question and answer session online and see how cargo bikes could benefit your business or businesses in your area. 

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Leigh Gravenor

Leigh specialises in cargo bike operations and travel behaviour change. He has worked as a cycle trainer across London and as a Sustainable Transport Officer with the London Borough of Kingston Upon Thames. For the past 3 years he has been part of the Senior Leadership Team at a London based cargo bike logistics firm, helping it grow from 13 staff to over 50.

Given Leigh's recent experience and knowledge of cargo bike logistics he will primarily be leading on the Bikes for Business Project and all things cargo bike. If Leigh isn't in the office he's probably out cycling or building another bike.

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This month, Bikes for Business, an initiative with Team London Bridge, Better Bankside, Southwark Council, Shad Thames, Spa Terminus, Blue Bermondsey, Walworth LEN and Druid Street Traders, was launched to encourage local businesses to switch from using cars and vans to cargo bikes to delivery services and goods. Businesses who operate in and around the London Bridge area, or who deliver frequently within the vicinity, could be eligible for up to £700 in subsidies towards a cargo bike of their choosing.

MP Smarter Travel is managing the project delivery, working with cargo bike operators, businesses and each project partner to help reduce carbon emissions and encourage more sustainable transport throughout the area. Bikes for Business is funded by Impact on Urban Health.

To celebrate the launch, on Wednesday 23 June, MP Smarter Travel and Team London Bridge hosted a cargo bike convoy. Starting at Southwark Park, the convoy of 30+ cargo bike operators from across London, made their way from Bermondsey, along Druid Street up to London Bridge, through Borough Market before finishing at the Tate Modern for an informal networking session and photos. An exciting start to the day, the project was featured on BBC Radio London in the morning before the convoy took off and in the evening on Sky news.

pin birdsongcargobikes-600

According to London Friends of Green Spaces Network, 85 per cent of people say that nature makes them happier, so we had our Bikes for Business convoy play birdsong as they cycled to replace traffic noise. The flurry of birdsong also showed just how much more we would be able to hear and enjoy if more cargo bikes were used and fewer motor vehicles were on the road, making London a more people friendly and healthier place.

"We were honoured and humbled to participate in the Bikes for Business campaign this year. As a relatively new operator in what is quickly becoming a competitive sector in London, it was wonderful to see a huge number of service providers acting in solidarity for cargo bikes.

A huge thank you from Zhero to Team London Bridge for making this event such a success, it’s thoroughly inspiring to be a part of this movement and to see us Londoners catching up with our European friends in making the cargo-bike the go-to logistics vehicle for our city."

Joe Sharpe, Co-Founder, Zhero

Did you see us as we cycled through? Share your pictures with us on social media tagging @MP Smarter Travel and @teamlondonbridge and use the hashtag #BikesForBusiness.

If your business is located in or around London Bridge (SE1), or if you deliver regularly within the area, and would like to know more about Bikes for Business, visit the Team London Bridge website or contact bikesforbusiness@mpsmartertravel.co.uk for more information.

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Reducing the number of freight vehicles on the road in London Bridge.

Team London Bridge runs a preferred waste and recycling supplier scheme in order to save its businesses money through joint procurement, and reduce the number of freight vehicles on the road.

MP Smarter Travel is supporting the contract re-tendering process by reviewing written proposals, interviewing operators alongside Team London Bridge, identifying data to be provided by operators to monitor KPIs, and developing the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the successful contractor. This support is based on our staff’s knowledge of the waste procurement and monitoring process.

Team London Bridge Recycling van 

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Making London Bridge a leader in sustainable freight

Team London Bridge has an ambition to make the London Bridge area a leader in deliveries taking place by cargo bike. This is part of a wider vision for the area to prioritise clean transport and create welcoming public places.

MP Smarter Travel is leading a carefully-monitored pilot programme to substitute business deliveries with cargo bikes. This involves detailed research on the current cargo bike services and operator market, and extensive engagement with 100 businesses to review their deliveries and servicing to match them with the right cargo bike operator. The key output of the project will be a cargo bike preferred suppliers list.

If you would like support with cargo bikes or sustainable freight, feel free to get in touch.

Team London Bridge Cargo Bike cropped 4x6

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Promoting new ideas and best practice in urban freight      

Team London Bridge secured funding for a Low Emissions Neighbourhood (LEN) in 2017, and as part of this programme committed to running a quarterly Freight Forum. This is a forum for large member organisations, neighbouring BIDs, LB Southwark and TfL to discuss freight impact reduction on a strategic level and share best practice for reducing freight impact amongst individual sites.

MP Smarter Travel is supporting the Freight Forum, with responsibility for setting the strategic direction for freight policy in the area and providing technical expertise about freight impact reduction measures. 

If you would like support with managing urban freight, feel free to get in touch.

Team London Bridge Freight Forum cropped 4x6


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Unlocking the potential for cycling in London Bridge             

Team London Bridge wants more people to cycle to and from the area every day for all types of trips. In order to increase cycling, they commissioned MP Smarter Travel and ActivePlanning to develop a Cycling Strategy.

MP Smarter Travel focused on cycle hire, deliveries by cargo bikes, behaviour change, and communications. Our approach was to consult with the general public and a wide range of businesses, Business Improvement Districts and local authorities to understand their priorities and get examples of best practice.

MP Smarter Travel’s recommendations for increasing cargo bikes formed the basis for Team London Bridge’s successful application for the TfL Deliveries Reduction Fund.

If you would like support with promoting cycling, business engagement or strategy development, feel free to get in touch.

Team London Bridge Cycling Strategy cropped 4x6


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MP Smarter Travel, in partnership with Active Planning, has been selected by Team London Bridge to deliver their Cycling Strategy.

About Team London Bridge

Team London Bridge is the Business Improvement District (BID) serving around 400 businesses and organisations in the area around the Shard. The BID is funded through annual conributions made by rate-paying businesses towards services, projects and events that benefit businesses and employees. The London Bridge Plan (2016) sets out policies and idenifies projects to strengthen the local economy and improve the physical environment.

Cycle Strategy
The Cycling Strategy will identify a set of projects, including both physcial infrastructure and behaviour change measures, to increase the uptake of cycling in the London Bridge area. This plan will sit within the Low Emissions Neighbourhood project covering London Bridge and the Better Bankside BID area.

MP Smarter Travel and Active Planning will be hosting a series of workshops with local businesses and organisations to form a bold long-term vision for cycling in the area, and to idenfity specific projects to be implemented over the short, medium and long-term.  

If you would like to get involved, get in touch!

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Oli Ivens

Oli is MP Smarter Travel’s Head of Consulting, having worked through the business from a consultant grade, Oli has experience working across the full range of services offered by MP Smarter Travel. Oli has a particular expertise in promoting the use of zero-emission last mile logistics among businesses. Oli's background is in cycle training and behaviour change. Oli has a Bsc Geography degree from the University of Manchester and as well as cycling in his free time enjoys rock climbing and playing hockey for Blackheath.

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