Cargo bike revolution gains momentum
While the bicycle enjoys a resurgence across the world, an increasing number of individuals, families and organisations are making use of the latest transport solution: the cargo bicycle. Capable of transporting children or goods that are too heavy or cumbersome for a traditional bike, the cargo bicycle is finding its niche in towns and cities.
As part of its commitment to promote the bicycle as a sustainable mode of transport, the UCI has decided to join the cargo bicycle revolution. A carvelo2go e-cargo bike will be available for hire at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC), in Aigle, Switzerland. Users will be able to rent the bike by the hour or day, simply by reserving a rental slot online. Simple, affordable and easy to use, visitors to the UCI and local families alike, will be able to enjoy the benefits of using such a bike and admire the mountain scenery as they pedal along the EuroVelo 17 Rhone cycle route, located at its doorstep.
The worldwide trend of people moving to cities, creates challenges for urban transport as growing populations fight for space on congested roads. Easy to maneuver and non-polluting, cargo bikes can go a long way towards alleviating such traffic congestion. According to the EU-funded CycleLogistics project, 25% of all urban goods could be delivered by bicycle, with the figure rising to 50% for light goods. Whether for delivering post, transporting groceries home from the supermarket or getting children to school, cargo bikes provide economical, environmentally-friendly alternatives to motorised vehicles.
Fewer trucks in cities
A shift to cycle logistics is particularly desirable in cities. Despite being only 3% of EU road traffic, trucks are involved in 14% of fatal accidents. Reducing the number of these vehicles on urban streets, will make vulnerable road users such as cyclists safer. Larger vehicles are also responsible for generating air and noise pollution. In response city leaders are increasingly putting in place restrictive measures to deter large vehicles from urban areas.
As they are non-polluting vehicles, cargo bikes are exempt from congestion or environmental charges or taxes. This makes them even more desirable for individuals or companies facing rising costs and challenges of travelling around urban areas. With models available that can carry over 250kg, cargo bikes can be used to transport significant loads. Read how cargo bikes are making a difference in cities across Europe.
Some 40,000 cargo bikes are in circulation in the bike-friendly city of Copenhagen, representing 6% of all bikes in the city. Over a quarter of all families in the city with two children or more own a cargo bike.
As more and more city-dwellers choose the bicycle as their means of transport, the cargo bike provides an elegant solution for transporting goods and children around town.