Cargo bike cities dashboard launch
The European Cyclists' Federation invited us to the online launch of their new Cargo bike friendly cities dashboard.
As a double cargo bike owner and a believer in the power of cargo bikes for both families and urban logistics, I was very excited to listen in to this webinar.
125 cargo bike friendly cities?
The ECF presented us with the dashboard, which currently includes data from 125 cities in Europe, including 6 in the UK:
There are plans afoot to add an additional 125 cities to the dashboard.
Like ECF, here at Cycle Sprog we believe that cargo bikes can contribute to tackling climate change and curbing congestion, by taking cars of the road and enabling families to make complex, multi-stops journeys in a fun and healthy way.
The research behind the cargo bike friendly cities dashboard looked at a range of criteria including financial incentives, sharing schemes and inclusion projects. The dashboard also takes into account active travel measures such as speed limits and length of cycle network.
How cargo bike friendly are UK cities?
The dashboard will hopefully turn out to be a useful tool for the UK, where cargo bikes are still not as common as I’d hope they would be by now.
However, the dashboard is not showing very much information for the cities in the UK. This might be because not that much progress has been made, or because local authorities weren’t forthcoming to provide the information.
For the German city Munich, for example, there’s a wide range of information available including very detailed information on incentives for individuals and businesses as well as the number of shared cargo bikes available (34 - in case you’re wondering!).
The information for UK cities is very limited, with the most information available for London, unsurprisingly seen the implementation of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and other measures.
The London entry also includes information about a family cargo bike test event from 2020. Things are developing quickly in the world of cargo bikes, and we know this because we were at the event back then!
The cargo bike friendly cities dashboard doesn’t provide a ranking, which is probably a good thing, because these rankings are often used out of context and can be misleading.
What can the UK learn from other European countries?
We’ve got a long way behind and there’s a range of (excuse the management speak) ‘low-hanging’ fruit.
Here at Cycle Sprog, we’re hoping to see a range of measures coming into effect in a city near you, from cargo bike libraries and loans to better infrastructure for cycling.
What about where you live?
Is your city featured on the dashboard? If not, do you think it should be on there?
Tell us in the comments what you think needs to change to make these places truly great to ride a cargo bike.