Recognising transport as major source of dangerous pollution (63% NO2, 34% PM10, 29% PM2,5 emissions coming from transport in 2018), the Brussels Capital Region:
- introduced a Low Emission Zone,
- planned a diesel ban by 2030 supported by clean vehicle public transport,
- extended traffic-free areas,
- promoted cycling,
- developed a sustainable freight strategy, and
- Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMPs).
The current SUMP, Good Move, emphasises the importance of mobility choices to improve the quality of life in Brussels.
Many citizens and professionals own and use a car or a van because they transport their children, groceries, goods, tools, etc., which is not always possible with a standard bike. The cargo bike is therefore the perfect solution for these needs while eliminating emissions, noise and limiting urban congestion. CAIRGO BIKE is therefore designed to accelerate a drive to clean air by tackling significant impacts caused by the overuse of Large Good Vehicles (LGVs) and cars for short urban trips, by promoting a modal shift to cargo bikes.
Research estimates that 50% of services could be delivered by cargo bikes, and 75% of private trips can be done by cargo bike (CycleLogistics project 2017). A cargo bike dynamic is clearly underway in Brussels, but is still limited and fragile. The project aims to boost trends and kick-start new initiatives in the short term, while creating a robust environment for long-term consolidation, which is essential to bring economic actors on board and convince private and professionals end-users to make a sustainable choice for cargo bikes and make a significant impact on air quality. The approach is user oriented and nudging-based: making the move to cargo bikes easy and attractive, by removing hurdles, facilitating information and access, and actively supporting transition to cargo bike use.
The main strands throughout the projects are:
- Raising awareness and facilitating access to information with an engaging and inclusive communication, including all the activities developed in the framework of the project and also all activities already existing in Brussels
- Getting people in the saddle (citizens, business and public) through tailor-made coaching and testing
- Making accessing cargo bikes easy for citizens as well as business, through sharing services, subsidies, group purchases etc
- Providing safe cargo bike parking in off-street provision to solve one of the major obstacle to invest in a cargo bike
- A smart evaluation of the project, directly involving users to refine the solutions and better meet the users’ needs and measure the impact on air quality.
The key interlinked results of the project will be the establishment of a cargo bike culture and the achievement of a modal shift. This means increased cargo bike use both in absolute and relative terms and the project created a snowball effect so cargo bikes are a visible, normal feature of the street scene.
Cargo bikes will replace more and more cars and vans for short trip mobility (5 km -15 km) such as school run, shopping, delivery, self-employed repair & maintenance, cleaning, household services, SME activity etc. Transitioning to zero-emission trips will drive improvement of air quality and public health.