Displaying items by tag: freight

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

Ghent, Oslo, Copenhagen and Madrid are cities that have made a concerted effort to make their centres car-free. In the UK, the city of Brighton & Hove could soon follow. But with no cars allowed, how does freight reach its destination?

What are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) are areas in which motor vehicle through traffic is restricted using physical barriers or ANPR cameras. Each vehicle can still access streets inside the LTN but can’t pass through. Without through traffic, LTN internal roads become quieter, offering a more attractive environment to encourage a mode shift to walking and cycling. London has been installing LTNs since the 1970s. Approximately 95 new LTNs have been installed as part of TfL’s Streetspace programme, which was launched during the COVID pandemic. Car-free city centres are essentially more ambitious LTNs, with the city centre as one or several Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

LTNs and car-free city centres are controversial, one of the key concerns is how freight could be delivered to businesses in these areas. In Ghent, Belgium, one city which has implemented LTNs, essential transport such as emergency services and public transport retain access to the city centre, whereas freight is delivered using a combination of:

1. Re-timing

2. Consolidation; and

3. Switching from vans and lorries to cargo bikes and electric vehicles

Let’s look at how freight works in the car-free city centre of Ghent, Belgium.

Car-free city centre in Ghent, Belgium

Ghent’s Circulation Plan, introduced in April 2017, splits the city into seven Low Traffic Neighbourhoods with the centre having the tightest restrictions, albeit not entirely car-free.

Despite the Circulation Plan being seen with scepticism by national media before its implementation, the scheme has been a resounding success. In fact, a year after the plan’s introduction, Filip Watteeuw, Deputy Mayor, received his highest electoral score and was re-elected. The Circulation Plan has created a 40 per cent reduction in car use on key routes, a 25 per cent increase in bike use, and an 18 per cent reduction in inner city air pollution (Ref: Streetfilms).  

dim-hou-ghent-640

So how does freight work in Ghent?

Buses, taxis and emergency services are allowed access to the city centre, while all delivery vans must leave the area by 11am. Since the circulation plan was introduced, the city has seen a 20 per cent increase in new businesses in the hotel and restaurant industry with 7 per cent fewer bankruptcies, proving the initiative to not only be environmentally friendly, but a boost economically.

As businesses adapted their approach to freight deliveries, new cargo bike operators have emerged in the city. DHL now consolidate deliveries outside the city’s ring road, completing the last mile by bike. The city’s maintenance teams have also adopted cargo bikes for street cleaning and the management of green spaces. Even through the pandemic, courier Cargo Velo, have seen a surge in business to customer deliveries in the city centre. Multi-national supermarket, Carrefour, have made the move to using cargo bikes in Ghent through ShipTo. Cargo bikes, along with time-restricted van deliveries are helping Ghent’s businesses flourish.  

Combining electric vans, consolidation and cargo bikes, Ghent University and the City Council have begun ‘LOOP Ghent’. University deliveries are consolidated at a central hub, with the last mile completed by a single carrier using electric vehicles and cargo bikes. By consolidating deliveries into zero-emission vehicles, there are fewer delivery vehicles on the streets, with each vehicle producing fewer emissions, and each runs more fully-loaded. Ghent has proven that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can be implemented without restricting the flow of goods to businesses.  

How a UK city is championing cleaner freight in its approach to become Carbon Neutral by 2030

In the UK, the city of Brighton & Hove is exploring the possibility of a ‘liveable city centre’ and are currently developing a pilot Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Hanover, as well as trialling five school streets closures, prohibiting motor vehicles from accessing some roads during school drop off and pick up times. Further  car-free measures could be introduced as early as 2023 as part of the council’s strategy to become a carbon neutral city by 2030 and in line with the findings of the resident-led and innovative Climate Assembly. If the changes go ahead, Brighton & Hove could employ similar measures as Ghent to keep their freight moving. 

In Brighton & Hove, transport is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, accounting for a third of the city’s carbon emissions. Like other cities, it has seen a significant increase in the number of freight and delivery vehicles in recent years, with the growth in online shopping and takeaway orders; this has grown further in the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Since September 2020, MP Smarter Travel has been working with Brighton & Hove City Council to deliver the eCargo Bike Accelerator project to replace petrol and diesel vehicles with clean and efficient cargo bikes. In its first phase, the project has demonstrated that even without car-free measures, there is strong demand for zero emission deliveries across the city. 

Brighton & Hove businesses are showing that cargo bikes represent a feasible solution for many urban freight trips. Trade businesses Mittens Plumbing and Mid-Sussex Electrical recently joined the eCargo Bike Accelerator project and now complete the majority of their city-centre home visits by cargo bike, drastically reducing their emissions and saving each business £350 a month on fuel, insurance and parking.

eCargo-bike-brighton

Image courtesy of Brighton & Hove City Council, eCargo Bike Accelerator project

Brighton and Hove City Council are well-placed to consider complimentary transport adaptations, including access for emergency vehicles, public transport and freight as part of a potential liveable city centre. Freight movements could be re-timed to happen outside of peak commuting hours, with deliveries consolidated in micro-hubs on the city’s outskirts. As has been shown in our recent work, there is strong business demand for switching to cargo bikes. Once introduced, Brighton & Hove could be a leading example of this new approach to freight working in a car-free city centre.

 

Published in Blog

STAMP represents residents and businesses in the Shad Thames area, and has commissioned MP Smarter Travel to reduce the impact of freight vehicles in the historic district. With a micro-budget provided by the Neighbourhoods Fund, MP Smarter Travel recommended a waste supplier consolidation programme targeted at restaurants, bars and cafés to minimise redundant vehicle trips. MP Smarter Travel is responsible for meeting with business managers, understanding which operators they use, identifying a preferred waste operator, and supporting businesses switching to the preferred operator.

Consolidation diagram

If you are looking for support with freight consultancy, data collection or business engagement, feel free to get in touch.

Published in Blog

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 

Published in Case studies

MP Smarter Travel was awarded a contract by Better Bankside to deliver surveys amongst businesses in the Borough Market area to better understand how freight works in the area. This data that we are gathering will be used to make deliveries more efficient and reduce their impact on traffic congestion, noise and air quality. Our client, Better Bankside is a Business Improvement District (BID) and works on behalf of local businesses to improve the Bankside area, offering services including area promotion, cleaning and recycling, and travel planning.

If you are looking for support with freight consultancy, data collection or business engagement, feel free to get in touch.

Published in Blog

MP Smarter Travel was awarded a contract by Better Bankside to deliver surveys amongst businesses in the Borough Market area to better understand how freight works in the area. This data that we are gathering will be used to make deliveries more efficient and reduce their impact on traffic congestion, noise and air quality. Our client, Better Bankside is a Business Improvement District (BID) and works on behalf of local businesses to improve the Bankside area, offering services including area promotion, cleaning and recycling, and travel planning.

If you are looking for support with freight consultancy, data collection or business engagement, feel free to get in touch.

Published in Blog

Clients

barnetBetter Bankside  Bexley2BrentCamden2  Enfield  Hackney idling action london

 Islington2  Kensington  Chelsea  Lambeth  Lewisham

Newham  SouthwarkTeam London BridgeTower Hamlets

London Borough of Waltham ForestWestminster

 

 

Case studies