New air pollution busting cargo-bike scheme launches in Square Mile

A new cargo bike delivery scheme has launched in the City of London to help businesses tackle toxic air pollution by shifting deliveries from diesel vans to cargo bicycles.

Following a successful pilot during the Christmas season, the service will now be available to all local businesses in the Smithfield and Farringdon areas with deliveries anywhere within the Congestion Charge zone.

The cargo bike scheme is run in partnership with Zedify, a new zero emissions delivery operator - formed from established cargo bike delivery companies Recharge Cargo and Outspoken Delivery who currently provide services across six UK cities.

Highly trained professional courier riders will use an electric-assist cargo bike or an electric-assist trike, with load capacities of 100kg and 250kg respectively to make deliveries. The delivery hub will be based in the car park*, at West Smithfield.

The scheme is part of the City of London Corporation’s ambitious plans for a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN), jointly funded by the Mayor of London and the City Corporation. Plans for the LEN also include new electric vehicle charging infrastructure, green taxi ranks and planting and growing projects designed to improve air quality around Barbican and Golden Lane Estate areas.

Jeremy Simons, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said:

“This new service marks a significant milestone in the introduction of the City’s Low Emission neighbourhood.

“It is part of our wider plan to help reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Square Mile.

“The service will provide local business with an eco-friendly way to move their goods around and reduce air pollution for local residents and workers.

Sam Keam, Director of Recharge Cargo said:

“Zedify is an exciting new urban delivery network. We are thrilled to be setting up a new operation at Smithfield that enables us to offer local businesses fast, efficient and cost-effective delivery and distribution services within central London.

“We are looking forward to expanding the operation in the coming months to provide zero-emission services that help to address the critical issues of congestion, air pollution and quality of life for Londoners.”

Mr Christopher Hogg Icefront Ltd, a local wholesale meat trader said:

“The cargo bike delivery scheme is a fantastic way of getting our meat boxes to our customers in a fast and efficient manner. It doesn’t create any air pollution and it offers savings compared to using vans within the congestion charge zone.”

The cargo bike delivery scheme forms part of the City Corporation’s wider fightback against air pollution, working with businesses to reduce air pollution through its City Air Programme. It is also pioneering a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling and through its City Air app, providing Londoners low pollution travel routes across London with advice and alerts when air pollution is high.

In 2016, it agreed a deal with Addison Lee - London’s biggest private hire taxi firm - to automatically switch hybrid taxis to ‘electric mode’ in key areas of the Square Mile and banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from its own fleet of 300 vehicles, where there is a clean market alternative.


Media enquiries

Carl Locsin, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

T 020 7332 3654 / M 0738 862 229


Notes to editors

* Delivery hub is located at West Smithfield, London, EC1A 9DS

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.