Cargo bikes & cycle logistics

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Investors in cycling
Cargo bikes & cycle logistics
Welcome to the Bicycle Association’s cargo bike and cycle logistics resources.

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Open consultation on draft UK Cargo Bike Rider & Operator Codes of Conduct and UK Rider Training Standard

As an initiative to help professionalise the cargo bike logistics sector, the Bicycle Association is developing a national standard for cargo bike rider training, and UK Codes of Conduct for operators and riders.

This consultation is an open opportunity for stakeholders to comment on and help refine these draft documents.

Responses are welcome via the form below (anonymously if you prefer) or please feel free to send any feedback direct to the project co-ordinator, Peter Eland, on [email protected].

The Bicycle Association (BA) is the UK cycle industry trade association, with around 150 member companies including cargo cycle suppliers and many cycle logistics operators. The BA works to grow the cycle market as a whole and is entirely self-funded. We believe this makes us well placed to co-ordinate this initiative as a “neutral broker”.

The BA has created the initial drafts of these documents with the help of a small group of cycle logistics and training experts.

The aim is to ensure a level of behaviour and professionalism in the public realm which will enable cycle logistics (deliveries by cargo cycle) to fulfil its full potential as a significant mode of transport of goods, especially in cities, to help meet decarbonisation, congestion reduction and air quality objectives.

These documents are intended to be used:

  • by actors in the sector (riders, operators)
  • by public sector authorities who will have cycle logistics operations in their areas
  • by public or private sector bodies procuring cycle logistics services (for example, by requiring commitment to the Codes of Conduct and training standard in tender documents).

We have a longer-term aspiration that these documents will in future form the basis of National Standards which underpin a formal cycle logistics rider qualification and training scheme, as is currently operated by Bikeability for child and adult cycling skills.

This work began with a scoping discussion among BA members and involving external stakeholders including Active Travel England, Bikeability Trust and Amazon. The outcome was broad support for the project as outlined here.

The Bicycle Association has engaged Andrew Brown to co-ordinate the development of the Codes of Conduct and Training Standard.

Andrew has co-ordinated a core group of operations and rider training experts from Zedify, Hereford Pedicargo, PedalMe and the Bikeability Trust to create first drafts of the document. After a first round of feedback, second drafts were published in July 2023.

Alongside this open consultation we will also be taking these drafts to a wide range of stakeholders, which will include all of the major national and regional transport authorities, the police, logistics industry groups, leading academics, logistics operators, and riders.

Stakeholders we are approaching will include:

  • All of the major UK national and regional transport authorities (including Department for Transport, Transport for Scotland, Transport for Wales, Transport for London, Transport for West Midlands, Transport for Greater Manchester)
  • Police
  • Major logistics operators (including e.g. Amazon), many of which now use cycles in their operations
  • Cycle logistics riders
  • Leading academics in the field
  • The wider cycle industry

In the short term we hope to achieve wide consensus on these documents and for them to be used UK-wide. The aim is to agree on a single national standard and code of conduct, to avoid regional or local duplication.

This is about improving standards, safety and behaviours to promote the growth of the cargo bike logistic sector and upskilling of its riders, many of whom will be self employed.

Our longer term aspiration is for this project to lead in time to a formal national training and qualification framework for cargo bike riders and operators - ideally based around Government-maintained National Standards  and operated in the same way as the Bikeability programme for general bike users.

So this Code of Conduct and Training Standard is in effect a staging post towards the eventual outcome of a full Bikeability-like programme.

You can download the current draft documents here. Please note that the graphic design is very much preliminary - images, layout etc. can and will be changed.

These are the third drafts of the documents, released early Sept 2023. Feedback is requested by the end of September.

Draft UK Cargo Bike Rider and Operator Codes of Conduct:

Draft UK Cargo Bike Rider Training Standard:

We highly value your input and feedback to help improve the current draft documents.

Please provide feedback on the current drafts by the end of August 2023.

You can submit feedback:

  • Using the form below. You are welcome to provide this anonymously if you wish, or to give your name and organisation.
  • or direct to the project co-ordinator, Andrew Brown, on [email protected].
  • or phone Andrew on 07795 547069.

    Name (optional)

    Position (optional)

    Company or organisation name (optional)

    Phone number (optional)

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    Your feedback *



    The Bicycle Association (BA) is the UK’s cycle industry trade association, with ca. 150 member companies, including numerous cycle logistics operators following our merger with the UK Cycle Logistics Federation.

    Member companies with a particular interest in cargo bikes and cycle logistics come together in the Cargo Bikes & Cycle Logistics Expert Group, which helps the BA prioritise its work programme in this area.

    Current priorities include:

    • Development of national Rider and Operator Codes of Practice
    • Development of a national cargo bike rider training framework
    • Opening and developing new markets, with an initial focus on the Facilities Management (FM) and Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sectors.
    • Developing this web page as a resource for all stakeholders in growing the sector

    We very much welcome all companies with an interest in this sector to join the BA and to be part of this and future work. Our programme is being led by the BA’s Peter Eland – please use the website chat function or the contact us page if you would like to get in touch.

    General info, research and guidance

    • August 2023: Thames Freight Infrastructure – Design Guidelines for Piers contains detailed guidance on making river freight facilities cycle-logistics friendly. Published by a consortium including Port of London Authority, TfL, Beckett Rankine, Cross-River Partnership and DEFRA.
    • August 2023: Just Economics, Team London Bridge and Impact for Urban Health have published the final report on the Bikes for Business initiative, which saw 150 businesses switch to using cycle logistics – with recommendations for policy.
    • March 2023: TfL has launched the “London Cargo Bike Action Plan
    • 2023: Just Economics, Team London Bridge and Impact for Urban Health have publishedDelivering Value – A quantitative model for estimating the true cost of freight via three transport modes
    • Jan 2023: FareCity has released a report about how cycle logistics and other measures can provide clean transport for open-air markets.
    • Jan 2023: University of Westminster Active Travel Academy has published “Delivering Good Work: Labour, employment and wellbeing in London’s cargo bike sector”
    • December 2022: The Green Alliance has publishedSharing the Load: the potential of e-cargo bikes”
    • June 2022: The influential World Economic Forum has published a report supporting the decarbonisation potential of cargo bikes.
    • August 2021: Possible, Westminster ATA and the KR Foundation have published “The Promise of Low Carbon Freight – Benefits of cargo bikes in London” – available here
    • 2020: DfT/EST have published “Electrifying last mile deliveries – a guide for businesses” (download here) and “Electrifying the last mile – a guide for local authorities” (download here).
    • July 2019: “Potential for e-cargo bikes to reduce congestion and pollution from vans in cities” from Transport for Quality of Life (commissioned by the BA) – available here

    For individuals

    Cargo bikes are a fast-growing choice for individuals and families for personal use. This section will contain resources and introductions for non-commercial users.

    A useful blog post by Sustrans – access here
    City Changer Cargo Bike: “20 Good Reasons to ride a cargo bike”: download here
    City Changer Cargo Bike: “Transporting Children on the family bike”: download here

    For cycle logistics operators

    • Coming soon

    For companies (who may wish to use cycle logistics)

    • August 2023: Just Economics, Team London Bridge and Impact for Urban Health have published the final report on the Bikes for Business initiative, which saw 150 businesses switch to using cycle logistics – with recommendations for policy.
    • 2020: DfT/EST published “Electrifying last mile deliveries – a guide for businesses” (download here)
    • More coming soon

    For the public sector (cycle logistics hosts)

    Cargo bikes are a fast becoming a realistic option for organisations who want to reduce their carbon footprint and review their logistics. Whether it is moving documents, supplies or materials between sites on a healthcare campus, university or secure establishment or just choosing a cargo bike instead of van for repairs, maintenance and asset management cargo bikes are a fast-growing choice. If you are a decision maker in the public sector then you need to keep pace with this demand and help facilitate that change – for colleagues, the communities you serve and organisations within your sphere of influence. In this section you can find advice, examples and ideas for your stakeholders’ non-commercial users:

    • 2023: TfL has a Guidance Note on cycle logistics friendly access barrier design: download here
    • 2023: Cargo Revolution has launched the “Borough Charter” – a concise five-point plan for local authorities to foster cycle logistics: download here
    • 2023: TfL has launched the “London Cargo Bike Action Plan” an approach supported by the BA that other cities and transport authorities can learn from
    • 2023: Cargo Bike Share Toolkit – Lessons on Running a Public Hire Service for Cargo Bikes – guidance from Hackney Council, Steer and Zero Emissions Network: download here
    • 2020: DfT/EST published “Electrifying the last mile – a guide for local authorities” (download here).
    • City Changer Cargo Bike: “Mayor’s Guide to cargo bikes” does exactly what it says on the cover: here and has valuable examples and ideas for every mayor wishing to advocate wider use of cargo bikes
    • City Changer Cargo Bike: “A Guide to Planning Cyclelogistics hubs“: here
    • Team London Bridge, “bikes for business“, is a scheme showing what can be done by the public sector the private sector: here
    • BA member, Daniel Bianco, of Brighton & Hove Council, has worked closely with MP Smarter Travel to make the Sussex town a greener, cleaner space thanks to the increased use of cargo bikes as shown in this case study: here

    For FM & CRE professionals

    Resources for Facilities Management and Commercial Real Estate professionals