Last mile deliveries

Whilst it would be tempting to be all topical and talk about British Cycling’s questionable decision to partner with one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Shell, I just can’t bring myself to do it today.

Instead, we’re going to continue the theme of cargo bikes and look at a video by GCN, who took two cargo bikes around Bristol to deliver beer.

The bikes used in this episode are the Raleigh Pro (Tredz) and the Raleigh Stride 2 (Raleigh). Both have a 40 mile range, an 80kg carrying capacity and a charge time of 3-4 hours. Both bikes were able to get the job done and the presenters seemed to be having a great time doing it.

However, the usual refrain when talking about cargo bikes is the cost. The Pro weighs in a smidge under £5,000, but for that you have no MOT to worry about, no worry about big expensive repairs and none of the usual administrative headaches associated with car or van ownership.

Let’s be honest, a £5,000 car or van is likely to be getting on a bit, likely to be reaching the point where big things are going to go wrong (been there, done that), but the Pro is brand new.

If you are a business making local deliveries, or perhaps you are Royal Mail or one of the many courier companies, cargo bikes make a lot of sense on a number of levels. First, the lower total cost of ownership of a new bicycle vs a van. Secondly, the people you employ to go out and make deliveries will spend their days getting fitter and stronger, resulting in fewer sick days. Oh, did I mention they’ve been found to be faster too?

Electric cargo bikes deliver about 60% faster than vans in city centres, according to a study. It found that bikes had a higher average speed and dropped off 10 parcels an hour, compared with six for vans.

Cargo bikes deliver faster and cleaner than vans, study finds – The Guardian

If you are tempted, Cardiff Cargo Bikes has a unit down in Splott that will be worth a visit.

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