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7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Cargo bicycles to reduce pollution

27 June 2007 - A new transportation plan aims to reduce fine particle and NO2 emissions by 15%. One of the proposed measures is to promote the use of bicycles for inner city distribution, a plan inspired by a pilot in Nijmegen.

The city further wants to ban polluting lorries from the area within the city ring, and to allow City Cargo to run up to fifty cargo trams, starting next year. Along with the transportation plan, a plan was presented to reduce private car use by raising parking fees to 3.60 euro per hour within the city ring.

In Nijmegen, Fietsdiensten has been operating cargo bicycles for inner city distribution on a small scale. In January, the concept will be introduced on a larger scale. Lorries will deliver goods to distribution centres. The goods will then be transported to their destination by bicycles or other environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

According to initiator Jos Sluijsmans, it is an advantage that the concept was not introduced top-down by the municipality. “Many business owners have had it with the municipality”.

Twenty shop owners have expressed their intention to participate in the new distribution concept.

Fietsdiensten now travels about 10 to 20,000 kilometres per year. An estimated three quarters of the goods transported would otherwise have been transported by lorries.

Sluijsmans says there is as yet no noticeable reduction in car traffic, but this may change when the concept is introduced on a larger scale, in conjunction with measures to discourage car use.

Cargo bicycles are allowed to enter pedestrian areas, where they have to ride slowly. This is just as well, for the bicycles are not very fast. “You can’t use them to race as people imagine bicycle couriers doing”.

The cargo bicycles used in Nijmegen have no support motor. In the future, bicycle taxis converted into ‘delivery cruisers’ may be used. These do have support motors. Amsterdam bicycle taxis sometimes block narrow bicycle lanes. According to Sluijsmans, such problems do not occur in Nijmegen.

See also: cargo tram, bicycle taxi


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