Displaying items by tag: cargo bikes


Since Bikes for Business launched in June this year, we’ve had an amazing response from businesses based in, or who deliver to, SE1, SE16 and SE17 (known as the ‘Low Line’), looking to make their deliveries more environmentally friendly by using cargo bikes. From florists to private equity firms and from retailers to coffee companies, businesses have been reaching out to get involved.


What’s Bikes for Business?

If you’ve not heard of the project, here’s a recap. Led by Team London Bridge, Bikes for Business is funded by Impact on Urban Health, in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust. Bikes for Business is offering up to £700 in subsidies for businesses to use a cargo bike service, or purchase/lease their own cargo bike to help reduce their impact on the environment.

With around 2,400 businesses operating in and around London’s Low Line corridor in Southwark, thousands of deliveries are made each week, many of which are done by cars and vans, adding noise and pollution to our city. Bikes for Business is set to change that.


Key Statistics

  • 35.5% are broader organisations such as florists, offices, NHS, launderettes and hairdressers
  • 32% are food and beverage suppliers
  • 18% are creative arts, design and marketing
  • 17.1% are hospitality


Success stories

Meet two of our most recent businesses to participate in the project and how transitioning to a cargo bike has helped them.

Horton-Stephens Ltd

A film, moving image and photography company specialising in advertising, Partner, Niall Horton-Stephens, was looking for a way to transport their portfolios quickly and easily without adding to London’s pollution.

Previously, portfolios were transported to client meetings on the tube and in cabs leaving them vulnerable to delays. Niall contacted MP Smarter Travel through the online form to enquire about the scheme. Although they were already aware of cargo bikes, they needed help finding a bike that could hold multiple large and heavy portfolios easily.

Niall commented, “The weight and quantity of the portfolios we needed to transport made it impossible to deliver on foot. Using a car or van meant we had to pay the congestion charge and had a negative impact on the environment.”

We scheduled a meeting to understand their requirements and what they were looking for in a bike. After talking through a number of potential options we put them in touch with Fully Charged so they could visit their showroom and see the bikes for themselves. Since meeting with Fully Charged, Niall applied for the subsidy, which proved to be an easy process, and has now bought two bikes.

“Using a cargo bike helps us make really quick deliveries compared to a van and has zero emissions. We didn’t realise that cargo bikes could carry so much!”

Niall Horton-Stephens

The Manna Society

Based in London Bridge, The Manna Society is a day centre for the homeless and those in need. They provide breakfast, lunch and washing facilities every day, and since the pandemic have expanded to doing takeaway meals.

Prior to undertaking their cargo bike service trial with Pedal Me, The Manna Society had their own van and driver who would visit multiple supermarkets in the local area to pick-up excess food. However, their driver left the charity in April this year and picking up food every week became difficult.

Paddy Boyle from The Manna Society stated, "We were already aware of cargo bikes being available for pickups, but we weren’t sure if a cargo bike could carry all the food that we needed. After our driver left, we were keen to find an environmentally friendly and low-cost way of doing the pickups. When MP Smarter Travel got in touch with us about the trial, we decided to give cargo bikes a go.”

Over the one-month trial period, Pedal Me did 17 food pick-ups from multiple supermarkets which were all delivered to their kitchen on time for their food service.

“Pedal Me were very efficient and it had been surprisingly straight forward switching to them. We can book a month’s worth of deliveries once a month and it all gets taken care of.”

Paddy Boyle

Since the trial, The Manna Society have made the decision to permanently switch to cargo bikes for their future deliveries.

If you’d like to find out more about the Bikes for Business and how your business can benefit, contact us via our online form. If you are a cargo bike operator and would like to take part as a service provider, get in touch by emailing info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk.

Published in Blog

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

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.

Published in MP Smarter Travel team

Known for its vibrant culture, and for being eco-conscious, Brighton is an exciting city. With a thriving independent business community and a base for a considerable number of larger companies, Brighton is home to 16,000 businesses covering a range of industries. Overall population has grown by around 13 per cent over the past decade and attracts almost 10 million tourists a year**.

With such a rapidly increasing population and as the city continues to become a hub for business, the need to manage the environmental impact from transport is becoming more apparent. Ready to tackle transport emissions and create a cleaner and healthier environment, Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), in partnership with MP Smarter Travel, introduced the eCargo Bike Accelerator Project.

The project

In early 2020, we worked with Brighton & Hove City Council on their application to the Energy Savings Trust and Department for Transport to gain funding for 12 cargo bikes and one trailer for the eCargo Bike Accelerator Project. The aim for this project was to help support local businesses and organisations to switch from using motor vehicles to eCargo bikes to deliver their goods and services. For those who wanted to take part in the scheme, the council provided eligible businesses £125 to help make the change.

After a successful application the 12 eCargo bikes and trailer were distributed to Council teams, Zedify, a local eCargo bike delivery service, and five small businesses ranging from tradespeople, distilleries and bulk food suppliers.

Our Goals

  • Engage 100 businesses across all industries
  • Register 12 businesses to take part


How we did it

Step 1: Promotion and Engagement

With so many businesses in Brighton and Hove, the Council needed our support in structuring delivering widescale business engagement. We started by listing key businesses by type and which businesses would be highly likely to engage with a transition to eCargo bike deliveries. High priority businesses are independent and already complete deliveries by diesel/petrol vehicle and within the local area. We partnered with the local Council, business improvement district, Chamber of Commerce, business groups as well as undertook cold calling exercises to promote the initiative.

Step 2: Determine eligibility and requirements

In order to receive a subsidy, businesses needed to be based in Brighton & Hove City and their use of eCargo bikes needed to replace an existing diesel/petrol delivery. Subsidies were not given out retrospectively, so the switch to eCargo bikes needed to be new.

Step 3: Sign up

Once eligibility was confirmed, businesses were either guided to purchasing their own eCargo bike or paired with Zedify, an eCargo bike courier service. Once introduced to Zedify, businesses would take part in a one-month trial of the service, receiving their £125 subsidy as a rebate at the end of the trial in exchange for feedback on the experience.

Zedify were able to use a range of different-sized, two, three and four-wheeled cargo bikes to transport a wide range of goods, using the electric motor built into the bikes to tackle even the steepest hills in Brighton & Hove.

A number of businesses expressed an interest in acquiring their own eCargo bike as they were already making frequent deliveries. For these businesses we provided guidance and advice on the types of eCargo bikes available for their needs and where these could be purchased. With existing relationships with a number of retailers, we were able to introduce them to the ideal partner who was able to offer the optimum eCargo bike.


  • We signed up 15 businesses ranging from clothing and homeware retailers, to florists and wine merchants, to use Zedify as a third-party cargo bike service, beating our target of 13.
  • Assisted two businesses to acquire their own cargo bike – making the switch to eCargo bikes permanent.


"Working with MP Smarter Travel on the BHCC eCargo Bike Accelerator Project was an absolute pleasure and delivery of this project was first-rate, even during a pandemic. Communication and set up of the project with Arun Khagram was clear and concise. Project delivery, done by Oli Ivens, was superb. I was thoroughly impressed with Oli’s knowledge of the eCargo bike sector and industry. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience working with Arun and Oli on this project.”

Daniel Bianco, Brighton & Hove City Council



* https://ww3.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/Brighton%20and%20Hove%20Economic%20Strategy%20-%20Full%20Evidence%20Base%20Report%20-%20FINAL.pdf


Published in Case studies

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.

Published in Blog

We are looking to expand our team by recruiting a Graduate Sustainable Transport Consultant who will provide additional support on our range of projects across the public and private sectors. You will be responsible for delivery on projects that include; air quality monitoring, school travel plans, modal shift and engagement with businesses to promote sustainable transport initiatives.

This is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience in the sustainable transport sectors and gain project management experience as part of a supportive team of professionals with a shared passion for sustainable transport. We are keen to support your personal development, offering excellent career progression and the opportunity to play a role in work winning and business strategy.

Based in the vibrant Southbank area of London, we share an office with our parent company, Mattinson Partnership - a specialist recruiter for the built and natural environment. You can expect a busy, friendly office and an active social scene with regular staff events. Flexible working options are also available.

About you

We are looking for an outgoing and confident 'people person' who is comfortable speaking with large numbers of schools and businesses by phone and in-person to persuade them to participate in our clients' sustainable transport / air quality programmes. You will have excellent spoken and written communications skills, organisational skills and attention to detail. You should also be able to demonstrate an interest in transport, air quality and/or the built environment. A background in sales, customer service or survey delivery is desirable. A degree-level education (or equivalent) is preferred.

Role and responsibilities:

  • Contribute to a variety of projects including air quality monitoring, school travel plans, and engagement with businesses to promote cycling and air quality initiatives.
  • Lead projects to collect travel data from schools in central London by contacting schools, arranging to visit, and delivering in-class 'hands up' surveys.
  • Provide project support for our bikes for business initiative, promoting the use of cargo bikes across Southwark.
  • Provide input for our website and social media accounts.
  • Attend networking events as required.

Key skills and experience

  • Outgoing and confident manner
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated interest in transport, air quality and/or the built environment
  • Background in sales, customer service or survey delivery
  • Data analysis and report writing
  • Degree-level education or equivalent
  • Ability to ride a bicycle in London and own a bicycle (desired)

To apply

Apply now with your cv and cover letter highlighting what attracts you to the position and what you think you can bring to the role to info@mattinsonpartnership.com or apply on the Mattinson Partnership website

Deadline for applications is 5th July.

Published in Blog

This May, MP Smarter Travel partnered with Brent Council as they launched their first ever cargo bike project for businesses in and around Harlesden, to deliver goods and services, or for recycling collection. Three local businesses took part in this project, Sparks cycle shop, Harlesden Mutual Aid and Crazy Baker.

Sparks cycle shop used Zap Waste, working in partnership with Pedal Me, to collect their cardboard recycling. Instead of using a big truck which comes through the high street, restricting road access to pedestrians and other drivers, Zap Waste were able to park outside the shop, collect their recycling and load it into the bike, quickly and easily. What’s more, by using a cargo bike, carbon dioxide emissions were zero and there was no noise pollution.

“The Brent trial was a great opportunity for us to test collecting waste with cargo bikes. We offer simple, fast and flexible business waste collections, so it was important to put that to the test. We believe there is a healthy future for cargo bikes in waste logistics.”
Nic Hamilton, Founder, Zap Waste

Second to trial cargo bikes was Harlesden Mutual Aid, a local charity providing food and emergency supplies to residents in the area. Pedal Me were engaged to work with the charity to deliver both hot and cold food parcels and so far have delivered almost 200 meals.

Artisan bakery, Crazy Baker, known for their delicious cupcakes and fresh bread, also used Zap Waste to collect their dry mixed recycling. Located on a busy road with plenty of foot traffic, Zap Waste were able to pull up outside the bakery with little disruption to traffic and pedestrians, collect the recycling and head on to the recycling centre, quickly and easily. Again, as a result of using cargo bikes the trip had zero carbon emissions and made for a speedy pick up.

"We're really excited to be working with MP Smarter Travel to support new businesses to transition away from slow and inefficient vans or cars to more modern cargo bike based services like ourselves. We're often able to do the work of many motor vehicles with one cargo bike - saving our clients time and money and to make more sales."
Ben Knowles, CEO and Rider, Pedal Me

The ability to implement environmentally friendly and efficient deliveries and recycling collection is easy and cost effective. With more and more London boroughs and cities across the UK embracing more eco-friendly ways to transport and deliver goods and services, cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular.

At MP Smarter Travel, we’ve worked with a number of cities and London boroughs to help businesses make the switch from vans to cargo bikes including Brighton & Hove and Southwark. If you’re a local council and want to find out more about how we can help those in your local area use cargo bikes, contact us at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk

Published in Blog

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

Published in Case studies

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.

Published in MP Smarter Travel team


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