Manchester Met University transport lecture Feb 2016

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Richard Armitage Wagl cycle couriers Manchester talks cycle lanes at MMU Richard Armitage Wagl cycle couriers Manchester talks cycle lanes at MMU

Cycle solutions for the final mile, Richard Armitage FCILT

e-Retail explosion seeks solutions to final mile. Population growth, demand for home delivery, inner city air quality, congested roads all seem to fit two wheel cycle, powered by pedal or electric.

There is nothing new about cycle couriers; during the eighties a motorbike courier who lost their licence for too many speeding points often reverted to leg power and added pedestrian zones and cut through paved areas to their street knowledge to complete deliveries in ever more concentrated zones of the inner city by pedal bike.

The cycle courier today is a green icon for client, brand and courier company; the further win is legal access to pedestrian zones, inner city areas of high density retail mix not accessible to fuelled vehicles.



CILT cycle guru Richard Armitage was at Manchester Met University (MMU) for the 2016 Feb transport lecture. With commercial interest in Wagl, a local cycle courier company delivering for Hermes, Richard had words on casual and commercial cyclists. MMU Dr David Lascelles chaired the lecture titled ‘Get Britain cycling – how are we doing?’

Richard began with the House of Commons 2013 all party group for cycling, political full house to see the future. Today, what’s going well? New highway engineering, (slide above even has speed bumps in the cycle lane) reallocation of road space, expansion of public bike hire, increase modal share in specific locations. Richard talked about local Manchester funding, the cycle city ambition grant & Oxford Road. Richard explained how DfT had established its cycle proofing group and covered the success story around cycle parking at railway stations.

Key legislative change was next on the agenda, EAPC, the electric assist pedal cycle regulations, maximum power weight and issues that clarified the law for the new breed of electric bikes that just keep getting bigger as cargo boxes grow to small van size. Richard explained new cycle sales had flatlined locally and some cycle shops were facing likely failure.

Focusing back on commercial cycling, Richard had just aligned with a fellow northern cycle courier operator, Ian Brocklebank, Last mile Leeds,  who delivers to the city centre streets of Leeds for DHL. Discussions followed on road space, accident rates and identity of cycles working commercially. Green credentials legal to access the most inner city zones but what about safety, accountability and identity, As the cargo bikes grow, how can they be identified, working cyclists without number plates. A healthy exchange of ideas followed in a debate on the commercial use of none licenced vehicles.

Last modified on Thursday, 04 February 2016 20:21