National Cargo Bike Summit

Part 1 of a 2-day event showcasing the growing cargo bike market in the UK

31 Mar 2023 The Guildhall, London, EC2V 7HH


** Last chance to book **

Taking cargo bikes mainstream

Cargo bikes are providing clean, cost-effective and convenient solutions when it comes to solving urgent business, environmental, logistical, congestion and health challenges.

Reducing transport emissions from transport, and freight in particular, are key considerations in the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

‘We will support and encourage modal shift of freight from road to more sustainable alternatives, such as rail, cargo bike and inland waterways’

From DecarbonisingTransport, A Better, Greener Britain, published in 2021 by the DfT

The National Cargo Bike Summit 2023 is the first national UK event dedicated to outlining the next steps needed to take cargo bikes mainstream by supporting the creation of a complete cargo bike ecosystem.

Who you will meet

This National Cargo Bike Summit 2023 will bring together all players in the cargo bike ecosystem to showcase cargo bike benefits to the public and private sector:

  • Cargo bike manufacturers

  • Cargo bike delivery operators and users, both public and private sector

  • Cargo bike retailers and resellers

  • Cargo bike hire operators: case studies from UK and beyond

  • Cargo bike mechanics, repairs and roadside assistance services

  • Cargo bike-powered service suppliers: retailers, parcel delivery, food / service deliveries, construction deliveries, plumbers, electricians and more

  • Cargo bike business owners

  • Cargo bike insurers

  • Cargo bike supply chain services

  • Cargo bike rider training and skills providers

  • Cargo bike standards providers

  • Cargo bike hub operators

  • Cargo bike logistics companies

  • Major logistics companies looking for clean, cost-effective option for local deliveries

  • Local authorities and transport authorities working to pilot and develop cargo bike networks

  • Businesess, companies and organisations using, or wishing to use, cargo bikes

Why attend?

To understand the business case for cargo bikes...

Cargo bikes sales are driving the cycle market in the UK and EU

  • According to the Bicycle Association, eCargo bikes are the key growth area across the UK bike market, with sales increasing by 37% in the 12 months to May 2022, compared with the previous year.
  • The rise in utility cycling, including cargo bike use, has prompted fast growth in cargo bike sales across Europe
  • Across the EU, an estimated 400,000-500,000 cargo bikes will sell this year, reflecting a 68% growth in sales, says the European Cargo Bike Survey Results 2022. Can we replicate this in the UK?
  • Looking specifically at cargo bikes used for commercial purposes, European Cargo Bike Survey Results 2022 indicate that our respondents have achieved aggregate revenues of €400 M, employment of 28,000 people, total travel of 250 M of km, and 50,000 tons of CO? saved per year. If we project that to the whole of Europe, we can estimate that the existing fleet of commercial cargo bikes is generating around €2.5 bn revenues, 170,000 employees, 1.5 bn of km travelled, and saving 302,000 tons of CO? per year
  • Cargo bikes can save time and money: studies show that they can deliver cost savings of 80% to 90% versus a traditional commercial vehicle

This event will showcase best practice in all these areas:

  • The cargo bike offer: enabling businesses, local authorities and individuals to adopt low carbon transport solutions
  • Case studies: successful first and last mile delivery services
  • Using cargo bikes in new ways: for construction, school transport, residential sharing schemes, ‘try before you buy’ leasing schemes, pool Cargo bikes and municipal services
  • The business case for commercial operators, businesses, local authorities and individual users
  • The new players in the cargo bike ecosystem
  • Planning for cargo consolidation centres, delivery hubs and networks
  • Lessons from Europe: what needs to change in the UK to drive progress?


The last mile challenge needs solutions…

The explosion of online and app-based delivery services has only made the challenges of last-mile delivery tougher. Local cargo bikes are the obvious zero emission choice.

Cargo bikes are available in a range of forms, with or without electric assistance, and enable easy and efficient options for the transport of both cargo and people. They are quickly becoming a viable business option for logistics companies, food delivery services and even plumbers and construction companies.

 Cargo bikes take polluting vans off the road….

The volumes of ICE van movements have significantly increased recently across the UK, more than doubling in the last ten years (DfT, Apr 2021).

E-commerce and home deliveries play a key role in contributing to the growth of last-mile deliveries. The UK is the number one market in Europe and third in the world for online shopping.

Cargo bikes help to reduce congestion…

The rise of online shopping and last mile deliveries has amplified existing and created new inefficiencies and problems in local transport systems – increased congestion, parking and loading issues, safety for active travellers and poor air quality.


Cargo bikes help to the UK to meet its net zero commitments…

Transport is the biggest emitter of carbon in the UK, responsible for over a quarter of Greenhouse Gas emissions (BEIS, 2020). 

Freight transport is responsible for one third of the overall emissions from transport in the UK, and road freight accounts for 77 per cent of that.

 The Department for Transport (DfT) has includes specific interventions to address freight carbon emissions within the broader UK Transport Decarbonisation Plan. These include consolidation centres and the use of cargo and e-cargo bikes.

 The challenge is getting more serious – we need viable action now.

Where do we need to get to?

An eCargo bike support scheme, funded by Department for Transport (DfT) and administered by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), saw 14 local authorities secure funding from the £1.2 million eCargo Bike Grant Fund in 2021/22 and 18 local authorities secure £1.4 million from the 2019/20 eCargo Bike Grant Fund.

The fund helped local businesses to buy eCargo bikes, and funded eCargo bikes for use within local authority fleets.

See the list of the local authority recipients from both eCargo Bike Grant Funds and the project summaries here.

Several businesses joined forces with local authorities to boost the cargo bike offers available. The EST called the project a ‘phenomenal success’ that helped to turbo-charge the uptake of cargo bikes in the UK.

In 2022, Norfolk, Oxford and Bristol were each awarded £500,000 to trial zero emission transport solutions, including the use of cargo bikes.

In awarding the Zero Emission Transport City (ZETC) fund: DfT said: ‘We announced in Gear Change that we would work with a small or medium-sized city to create a zero emission transport system, with extensive cycle lanes, an all-electric (or zero emission) bus fleet, and a ban on nearly all petrol and diesel vehicles in the city centre, with deliveries made to consolidation hubs and the last mile being done by cargo bike or electric van.’

Now we need to go further – and faster. Cargo bike riders need to a complete ecosystem to support them: price incentives, increased funding, infrastructure improvements, better services including repair, maintenance and insurance, rider training and robust policy on cargo bike operations and standards 

The National Cargo Bike Summit 2023 will showcase the cargo bike pioneers who are driving the sector forward across the UK, and highlight best practice from Europe.


What’s so good about cargo bikes?

Cargo bikes are:

Economical: some businesses have saved on fuel, maintenance, taxes and vehicle insurance

Quick: cargo bikes can travel in cycle lanes and on roads and streets. Many e-cargo bikes can travel at15.5 mph – and many city roads have speed limits of 20mph

Easier to park than vans: because they are compact, riders can cycle close to their drop-off destination

Environmentally friendly: in 2019, the average delivery van emitted 159g of CO2 per kilometre. Cargo bike journeys are emission free

Flexible and convenient: Cargo bikes can enter low emission zones, LTN offering  major advantages for local business efficiency whilst contributing to more liveable neighbourhoods

Healthier: team members riding around on cargo bikes can enjoy a fit and healthy lifestyle

Efficient: Cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes in particular can carry large loads in all weathers, with the design of weather-resistant cargo holds and driver compartments rapidly improving

Simple to operate: No special licences are needed for riders, only suitable training

During the coronavirus pandemic, many cargo bike and eCargo bike schemes have illustrated their value and societal benefits, supporting people and organisations in need.  

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