2,073 viewsAug 30, 2019, 01:21pm
A university study has found that cargobikes complete urban delivery jobs up to 50% faster than small vans. Meanwhile, the U.K. Department for Transport has announced it is to spend £125 million on, among other things, “flying urban taxis.”
This pump-priming of not-yet-existing technologies is part of a £300 million Brexit-beating investment fund to develop “cleaner, greener forms of transport.”
However, one of the long-existing green forms of transport—cycling—was recently found to be faster in cities than cars or motorbikes. Smartphone data from riders and drivers schlepping meals for restaurant-to-home courier service Deliveroo showed that cyclists are even faster than motorized two-wheelers.
“In some areas over a given period, the average travel time can be far shorter for cyclists than for scooters,” said Deliveroo in an email.
And engineering students from the University of Southampton have now found that cargobikes are far faster than vans in cities.
The study, commissioned by courier firm CitySprint, discovered that cargobikes complete jobs up to 50% faster than small vans during peak weekday times.
CitySprint will soon add a further 60 cargobikes to its existing London-based fleet of 40 such pedal-powered machines. Alongside its fleet of traditional motor vehicles the company also operates four electric vans and a hydrogen van, claimed to be first of its kind for courier services in the U.K. when it was introduced last year.
While new transport secretary Grant Shapps waxed lyrical over the much-vaunted technologies of the future, the old-school technology that’s actually more likely to be doing the bulk of the near future’s “last meter deliveries” remains urban transport’s Cinderella.
The delivery trike of old is now electric and capable of zipping 350kg through congested city streets without touching the sides.
This capacity is not weedy: in the Netherlands, the average van carries as little as 130kg per trip. And e-cargobikes—as used by CitySprint and others—are nimble. This will become increasingly important as more and more of us opt to live cheek by jowl in cities, where road space will always be in short supply.
E-cargobikes have electric pedal assistance and can be ridden on roads and on cycleways. While vans have to go the long way round on one-way streets, e-cargobikes can speed to their destinations via cycle-only cut-throughs.
E-cargobikes can also weave through gridlocked motor traffic, and can often be wheeled into drop-off destinations rather than parking illegally, a problem endemic to van deliveries.
According to research by the municipality of Amsterdam, the average loading and unloading time for delivery vans and lorries is 12 minutes–the same amount of freight can be unloaded from an e-cargobike in as little as three minutes.
Despite growing evidence that cycles will remain the quickest and cleanest delivery vehicles in cities for quite some time, it’s highly probable that government ministers will prefer to have names associated with “flying urban taxis.”
Study Finds Cargobikes Beat Vans In Cities So U.K. Government Backs Flying Urban Taxis – Forbes
Carlton Reid 2,073 viewsAug 30, 2019, 01:21pm A university study has found that cargobikes complete urban delivery jobs up to 50% faster than small vans. Meanwhile, the U.K. Department for Transport has announced it is to spend £125 million on, among other things, “flying urban taxis.” This pump-priming of not-yet-existing technologies is part of a… [Read More]