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French pedal hard on bike cargo
French pedal hard on bike cargo

In a bid to tackle the climate change crisis the French government will subsidise the delivery of packages by cargo bike.

A total of $20 million has been initially allocated to the scheme over three years.

In the first year $3.00 per package will be provided for the first 500,000 items, then $2.00 for 1.5 million packages in year two, and $1.00 for 3 million packages in the third year.

The aim is to shift local cargo delivery from vans to bikes.

In Paris the transport of goods makes up between 15–20% of traffic, but contributes 45% of the fine particle emissions.

"Accelerated by the health crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic, the development of delivery in cities has a heavy impact on air pollution and contributes, in several French cities, to the regular exceedance of authorised air pollution thresholds,” the Ministry of Ecological Transition says.

"In Paris, while the transport of goods accounts for only 15 to 20% of traffic, it generates 45% of the fine particles emitted.

“A cargo bike with 1.5 cubic litres capacity emits 85% less CEO to then a motorised vehicle of the same capacity."

Four French cities will participate in the initial trial.

France’s low-carbon strategy seeks to cut 28% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2030 compared to 2015.

A national active mobility plan, with $340M committed to bikes, aims to triple cycling’s modal share by 2024.

"To reduce emissions of air pollutants from freight transport, the modal share of polluting commercial vehicles must decrease,” the Ministry says.

"Like the use of bicycles for trips of less than five kilometres, cyclologistics is a clean, fast solution that requires little urban logistics space, and is suitable for a large part of the delivery needs in the city.”

During 2021 assistance will also be provided for the purchase of cargo bikes, with all without electric assistance, for local small businesses.

Since 2017 France’s cycling network has grown by an estimated 30%, or 10,000 kilometres.

New and renovated trains must carry at least eight cycle spaces, or five for long-distance routes.

France also pioneered the bike repair voucher scheme, repairing nearly 2 million cycles thus far with its Bike Helping Hand scheme.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.