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Using a cargo bike in Westminster

Find out more about what cargo bikes are, how they can help businesses and what the council is doing to support their use.

What is a cargo bike?

Cargo bikes are cycles that have been designed to carry bulky, heavy items or passengers.

A woman riding a beryl bike on a Westminster street, with flats and trees on the left hand side of the image

There is a wide range of models, with two, three wheels even four wheels, with a loading box or flatbed bay in the front or at the rear. Some types come with a battery-powered motor that assists pedalling when carrying heavier loads and to get up steep hills.

A growing number of businesses and households in London and around the country have successfully switched all or some of their trips and deliveries from a car or van to a cargo bike. This reduces their carbon footprint, improves air quality, reduce noise pollution and, for the person riding, this provides an opportunity to fit physical exercise into an existing daily routine.

Using a cargo bike instead of a motor vehicle also allows the rider to make use of cycle lanes, which saves time. The cost of hiring, owning, or running an electric cargo bike is much lower than the cost of fuelling, parking and maintaining a motor vehicle.

Businesses that have made this transition have been large and small, covering various sectors and trades: from large courier companies to local plumbers, and major supermarket chains.

Families typically use their cargo bike for the school run but they can also replace a motor vehicle in urban areas and include trips to the local parks and playgrounds and grocery run.

Read a list of FAQs about using a cargo bike.

What we are doing to support the use of cargo bikes

We launched a public rental cargo bike scheme in March 2023, where you can rent a two wheel cargo bike and pay by the minute after downloading the Beryl app. We currently have four locations with one cargo bike in each bay available. Locations are in Maida Hill, Harrow Road, Church Street and Warwick Way.

In partnership with Cross River Partnership and Delivery Mates, April 2023 saw the launch of a micro-logistics hub in Pimlico. Based in the Q-Park car park in Cambridge Street, this consolidation hub will support local businesses with moving some or all their deliveries onto cargo bikes.

Both projects are underpinned by our Freight, Services and Delivery Strategy and Active Travel and Sustainable Transport priorities.

Our cycle training offer includes free cargo bike training.

We’re proud to be one of the first Local Authorities paving the way for more businesses and residents to have access to cargo bikes, and we’ve signed up to the Cargo Bike Charter.

Meet Cargo Bike business owners.

Further cargo bike resources.

For any enquiries about cargo bikes, please get in touch at [email protected]

Published: 1 December 2021

Last updated: 30 November 2023