Surely there’s no better metaphor for the helplessness of gridlocked cities than the news that broken-down cars are now being rescued by cargo bicycles.
Following a successful one-year trial in Berlin and Cologne, breakdown company ADAC has found that their fleet of electric bicycles are often quicker and more effective than vans because they make rapid progress in dense traffic and jams.
The electric bikes tow a trailer capable of carrying up to 70 KG of tools, which a hydraulic brake helps bring to a stop.
Meanwhile in London, Pedal Me is a new breed of city courier. The start-up promises a fun, fast and convenient way of travelling in the city using a fleet of cargo bikes equipped to carry stuff or people. Operating within a five-mile radius of London Bridge, the fume-free service is exactly what British cities need.
There are many reasons why diesel delivery vehicles are a blight for those who live in cities – not least the fact that internet shopping has resulted in an explosion in the number of vans. The air pollution that brings about the early death of an estimated 50,000 people every year in Britain alone is at its worst in cities. Research by King’s College four years ago found nitrogen dioxide levels on London’s Oxford Street to be the worst on Earth – a shocking revelation that is prompting new restrictions on the type of vehicles permitted to enter the city.
Dr David Carslaw, Environmental Research Group, was quoted in relation to air pollution levels on Oxford Street: ‘To my knowledge this [level] is the highest in the world in terms of both hourly and annual mean. NO2 concentrations [in Oxford Street] are as high as they have ever been in the long history of air pollution.’
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Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance company, we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. We also launched Green Transport Week and helped establish Car Free Day and Twenty’s Plenty to name just a few. We’ve been campaigning for sustainable transport in this way for over 27 years with the help of people like you. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out insurance with us. Home insurance, cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover and we take care of the rest. We provide an excellent level of cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.