While some Londoners are discussing banning lorries during peak hours, others are taking matters into their own hands. Gnewt Cargo, a last-mile delivery company using electric cargo cycles and minivans, has started a pilot project together with the CTC and the Cyclelogistics project.
Since 2009, Gnewt Cargo has specialized in offering zero-emissions last mile delivery in the heart of London’s tourist district, on some of the busiest streets of the city. That caught the attention of the CTC, an ECF member, who subsequently signed up Gnewt as a sub-contractor for the delivery of the Cyclelogistics project in London.
“The money awarded to Gnewt through the CycleLogistics Project has allowed us to offer a subsidised trial with a ‘traditional delivery’ organisation, Hermes,” says Matt Linnecar, Gnewt’s co-founder.
The trial includes a Saturday service, which Gnewt did not offer before. Having started this October, the trial will continue through to January 2014. “At that point we will see whether we can expand the trial,” says Matt Linnecar. “We certainly hope that will be possible.”
After all, the Cyclelogistics baseline study published earlier this year suggests that there is a huge potential for shifting goods delivery from trucks and vans to cargo bikes. The study found that as much as 51% of motorized trips in EU cities could be taken over by delivery bikes.
50,000 packages until January
Find out more about Cyclelogistics on our project page.
Matt says Gnewt are receiving approximately 500 packages per day from Hermes at this time, which will increase to 1,500 in the run-up to Christmas. The packages are then delivered via 5 different routes with one cargo bike each delivering 100 packages and travelling about 5 miles per day.
And the end of the trial, Gnewt will have delivered more than 50,000 packages using only cargo bikes. Matt Linnecar says they will also have prevented almost a tonne of CO2 emissions being released into the athmosphere.
“If the trial is successful, we hope to add Hermes to our growing client list,” says Matt Linnecar. “And Londoners can look forward to less congested and cleaner streets.”
And streets will be safer as well. If Gnewt suceeds, the lorries might just vanish all by themselves from central London – even without any bans.
About the Author
Karsten Marhold works as Communications Assistant at the European Cyclists’ Federation. He has a masters degree in European history and cultures and is a researcher in European Integration in Brussels. His interests focus on cycling as a sustainable form of mobility and the corresponding EU policies.