Wandsworth’s ongoing work to improve local air quality levels has been boosted by launching a new e-cargo bike delivery scheme based in the town centre that will mean fewer vans and cars on the borough’s roads.

A six-month trial scheme is now underway to see deliveries to local homes and businesses carried out by electrically-powered cargo bikes instead of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.

The new “micro-logistics hub” is based at the Southside Shopping Centre and will result in low-emission “last mile” deliveries.

Parcels and packages will arrive inside a larger electric vehicle at the hub before being sorted into delivery routes and then distributed by e-cargo bikes across the surrounding area.

Based on the results of a similar hub operating in Pimlico – the new Wandsworth scheme is expected to deliver significant benefits in reduced levels of pollutants. After four months of operations, the e-cargo bikes operating from the Pimlico hub travelled 9,377 km, which led to a total emissions reduction of 1,613kg of CO2, 6,388g of NOx, and 105g of PM2.5 when compared to petrol and diesel van deliveries.

As well as reducing harmful emissions, deliveries by e-cargo bike are reckoned to be quicker.

Researchers at the University of Westminster used GPS data to compare routes taken by cargo bikes in London with routes that vans would have to take to deliver the same parcels. Results show that services provided by cargo bikes in London are 1.61 times faster than those performed by traditional vans.

Judi Gasser, Wandsworth’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We are determined to clean up Wandsworth’s air and reduce carbon emissions, so we are delighted to be part of this trial.

“We know that deliveries contribute to air pollution, and we already work with local businesses to help them find cleaner solutions. Our new Air Quality Action Plan sets ambitious targets to clean up the air, improve people’s health and tackle climate change. The Micro Logistics Hub will enable more businesses to switch to low-emission last-mile deliveries and help us meet these targets.”

Wandsworth’s air quality champion councillor Jamie Colclough, who was representing the council at the scheme’s launch on Tuesday, added: “This is a fantastic step towards a delivery system fit for a greener future. Using cleaner emissions-free technology to deliver parcels will play a big role in delivering better air quality for our residents.”

The scheme is managed and delivered by the Cross River Partnership (CRP), a non-profit organisation, with funding from Defra in partnership with Wandsworth Council with support from sustainable logistics experts Decarbon Logistics Solutions in partnership with APCOA Parking (UK) Limited, Southside Shopping Centre and sustainable final-mile courier company Delivery Mates.


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