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Navigating the City Streets using Zero Emission Cargo Bikes

by Paul King

A cargo bike delivery company called ZMOVE, the first of its kind in the North East of England, is looking at ways to navigate the city streets. The company, situated in Grainger Park Road in Newcastle, specialises in zero emission inter-city deliveries around the region.

We met with Robert Campbell at ZMOVE to talk about the unique and interesting challenges cargo bikes face when trying to navigate the streets of Newcastle.

“A cargo bike is wider than a regular bike, so it can’t fit through many of the spaces a regular bike can, but it’s narrower than a car, so finding a good route into the city centre can often involve a bit of trial and error”

Robert is a keen cyclist and as a result, takes the time to update online open source maps to be more cycle friendly and reflective of available routes.

Rather than trusting pre-existing routes as suggested by online map software at face value, Robert has taken the time to figure out the best routes into Newcastle.

There are two major barriers in Newcastle, how to cross the central motorway when travelling East-West and crossing the river into Gateshead. Both these routes present the cargo bike user with significant difficulties and consequently limit the routing options.

This has led to Robert attempting some challenging routes into town and across the central motorway; on one occasion cycling along New Bridge Street during busy hours.

“It was a scary experience pedalling along that section of the road and navigating the complex roundabout where it crosses the central motorway…”

ZMOVE's Louie delivering from Pink Lane Bakery to Quillam Brothers

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We’re excited to see zero-emission companies like ZMOVE emerge in the region. This comes at an interesting time with the Smart Cities Initiative announced by Newcastle Council

Robert has given us some great insights into cargo bicycles. As a result we have a better understanding of the challenges faced by courier businesses. This has influenced our future road-map and we’re grateful for his input.

We have a similar ethos to ZMOVE to when it comes to reducing vehicle emissions, so it has been great to work together. I would love to see cargo bikes become a regular sight in Newcastle, following in the footsteps of other European cities. We hope Robert and his team achieve the same level of success as their European counterparts

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Paul King and Robert Campbell

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