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E-cargo bikes used for final leg of freight river trial in London

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Pedal Me is using its e-cargo bikes to pick up and deliver goods from piers on the River Thames as part of the first daily freight river trial in London. 

Launched by the Cross River Partnership (CRP) – a non-profit and impartial partnership organisation – the trial has been set up to highlight how the river can enable fast, efficient and consistent deliveries in a more sustainable way. 

“Using boats to bring pallets of goods inside London, and cargo bikes to deliver supplies across the city is not only more reliable, but also makes our streets safer, cleaner and less congested,” Pedal Me’s CEO Olivier Rousseau told Zag Daily. 

“The Thames is a greatly underused resource so it’s brilliant to see it being utilised in this way – taking goods off the roads and onto boats is a winner for everyone.” 

Freight river trial

The trial serves the next day delivery market and was launched as part of the Clean Air Logistics for London project, which is backed by a £1 million Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs fund. 

CRP has been working with the Port of London Authority, Lyreco UK and Ireland, Speedy Services, Thames Clippers Logistics, Grid Smarter Cities and Pedal Me to deliver it.

Bringing goods into central London via the Thames is proven to emit less than half of the carbon of road transport, improving local air quality and congestion.

A previous CRP river trial found that using the river for freight resulted in a 78% saving in nitrogen oxides and an 88% saving in CO2 compared to traditional road-based delivery methods.

Fiona Coull, Cross River Partnership Programme Manager, told Zag Daily that the project is running in two phases. Phase 1, which officially began on Monday 27th February, called at Bankside pier only.

“Phase 2 started on Friday 10th March and incorporated an additional pick up of goods from Trinity Buoy Wharf,” said Coull. “This has enabled more goods to be loaded onto the vessel, improving efficiency and further reducing pollution and congestion.”

James Trimmer, Planning and Development Director at Port of London Authority, commented: “This latest trial underlines our Thames Vision 2050 commitment to ensuring that the river plays a transformational role in making the Port of London a world-leading, Net Zero trading hub.”

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