Research grant awarded to cut delivery emissions in city centre

August 29, 2013

Cardiff based delivery company Big Blue Bike, working with the University of South Wales’s Wales Transport Research Centre, has been successful in obtaining a grant from Environment Wales to research ways to cut carbon emissions from city centre deliveries.

The £12,311 grant will be used to fund research on how more city centre deliveries can be switched from vans and lorries to cargo bikes for the last mile of a journey. The last mile in logistics tends to be the most difficult, costly and time-consuming part of a delivery. There are a number of examples where cargo bikes are delivering in large urban centres and the research seeks to understand the feasibility for this in Cardiff and other cities in Wales.

The 6 month research project will focus on Cardiff but will take best practice from Bristol, Cambridge and London to develop ways of reducing emissions from delivery vehicles in the city centre. The research will include consultation with City Centre businesses, logistics companies, Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, and cycling groups, in order to understand the issues faced and identify potential workable solutions. The research project findings will be disseminated through the project partners and via the project website.

Mike Erskine, Business Development Manager at Big Blue Bike, commented “This is all about moving goods in a smarter way. City centres are the most problematic and costly areas to deliver packages and we think there is room for improvement. The research will enable us to better understand where the problems for delivery into Cardiff city centre exist and how we can overcome them.”

Owen Clark, Head of the Wales Transport Research Centre, added “It is important that within the context of major challenges such as increased car dependence, congestion, transport’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and dangerous climate change concerns, that we question, understand and influence our demand for travel and our means of travel. We are seeking to find out why businesses have their goods delivered in certain ways and what is stopping them from changing their behavior that will assist in reducing Wales’ greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change.”

This work is funded by the Welsh Government Supporting Sustainable Living (SSL) scheme, delivered by Environment Wales and Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales. For more information about the scheme, please visit:

Notes to Editor:

  1. Big Blue Bike is a professional cycle courier service based in Cardiff. It was established in 2010 by Ben Allen as Cardiff’s first bicycle courier specialising in parcels delivered in an environmentally friendly way. The main service is the delivery of packages, documents, letters and boxes up to the weight of 180kg within the city centre area of Cardiff.
  2. Big Blue Bike works with over 50 companies in Cardiff including solicitors, design studios, printers & sandwich shops. The bikes used are specially designed cargo bikes for transportation and delivery and are being used across Europe and the US to deliver packages. For more information about Big Blue Bike, please visit:
  3. Mike Erskine, Business Development Manager at Big Blue Bike has experience in delivering organizational change programmes focused on sustainability.
  4. Owen Clark from the Wales Transport Research Centre, University of South Wales will be working in partnership with Big Blue Bike on the research project. The WTRC is a leading centre for applied transport research, covering all aspects of air, land and sea transport. Owen will be taking a principal role in the design of the project research phases including baseline analysis and online business survey. For more information about the Wales Transport Research Centre, please visit:

Tagged: Last Mile Logistics Project