Research News: Sydney Last-Mile Pilot Launched, Bike Frame Weakness Study, ACT Crash Study, Infrastructure Expectations Higher Among E-Riders

Australia’s first zero-emission last-mile delivery pilot was officially launched in Sydney’s CBD on 10th October, bringing together several leading micromobility players involved in the project.

Founders of logistics start-up Parcelrun, which is heading the pilot, were joined by representatives of NSW peak cycling advocacy group Bicycle NSW and e-bike providers Zoomo, Dutch Cargo and Lug+Carrie.

Another partner in the pilot, delivery firm Shippit was also represented at the launch.

Shippit’s head of strategy and operations, Sandy Baines, said Parcelrun and Shippit have a shared vision to create a more eco-conscious and efficient last-mile delivery eco-system.

The three-month trial will test cargo bikes from each of the three e-bike providers – including prominent brands Larry Vs Harry, Urban Arrow, Carla Cargo Trailers, Zoomo and Tern – and all partners will receive access to the data to inform performance metrics and opportunities.

Lug+Carrie founder Ben Carr said: “Australia is overdue for a trial of this kind. We know electric bikes work for delivery, they are more efficient and cost effective.

“This pilot will play a vital role in the future of last-mile in Australia.”

Parcelrun founder Patrick Ibrahim said the Sydney trial follows successful global pilot programs in London and New York that demonstrated environmental and social outcomes can be delivered alongside positive commercial impact.

He said the potential benefits align with the city’s strategy to reduce congestion, decrease emissions from delivery vehicles and promote active communities within its CBD.

“We look forward to hitting the streets today, doing what we do best, delivering parcels on time, with great customer experience in a way that minimises impact on the environment,” Patrick told the launch.

“This pilot will collect data which we are confident will demonstrate the environmental and social benefits.”

ACT Bike Crash Survey

The prevalence, consequences, and perceptions of structural weaknesses in bicycle frames are being investigated by a new research project by the University of NSW (UNSW).

Riders are being invited to complete a short survey that goes live on Friday 20 October and explores bike riders’ understanding and experience of structural weaknesses in bicycle frames.

The study will also examine riders’ awareness and use of methods of testing for structural weaknesses, according to UNSW honorary associate professor Julie Hatfield, who is part of the research team.

The research was sparked by a coronial inquest into the death of cyclist Richard Stanton in Canberra in 2016, with the investigation concluding the fatal crash resulted, at least in part, from structural weakness.

“We wondered whether this might be the tip of the iceberg – and felt it worth doing the survey to get a clearer picture of the size of the problem,” Julie said.

“This research is significant because it will fill gaps in knowledge and findings may inform strategies to avoid harms associated with structural weaknesses in bicycle frames.

“We suspect that structural weaknesses are more of an issue than generally recognised. There are anecdotal reports, but little targeted research.”

She said there is also little knowledge about bicycle riders’ awareness and use of tests for structural weakness.

“In particular, do riders realise that they can test for structural weakness without damaging their bike?” Julie said.

“We hope to use the results to illuminate the true size of the issue, and to promote appropriate testing.”

The research team is aiming to get input from a range of bicycle riders and respondents don’t need to have experienced frame structural weaknesses to complete the survey.

However, participants do need to be aged 18 years and over, and must be a regular rider – either now or in the past (riding at least once a week for a period of at least six months).

“The second part of the research will involve scanning bicycles to estimate the prevalence of undetected structural weaknesses,” she added.

The research team is asking cycling organisations, retailers and other industry groups to forward the survey link to their members and rider customers.

The survey will be open until 10th November and further information is available by emailing

The travel experiences of ACT cyclists are being examined by a new research project and survey aimed at improving road safety for riders in the nation’s capital.

Riders who are aged over 18 and regularly cycle on public roads and cycle paths are invited to complete the ‘Cyclist travel and crash experiences in the Australian Capital Territory’ survey, that is open until the end of this month.

The study aims to identify how much ACT cyclists ride, the routes they regularly take, their level of riding confidence, their safety measures, their experiences with crashes or near misses and any injuries from those incidents.

It will also assess their perceptions of overall safety on the ACT road network.

The study is being conducted by the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) and is funded by the ACT Road Safety Fund.

Further information is available by contacting the researchers, James Thompson at or (08) 8313 0917, or Giulio Ponte at or (08) 8313 3554.

Infrastructure Valued More by E-Riders

Cargo bikes and e-bike riders place greater emphasis on the quality of cycling infrastructure, compared to users of conventional bicycles, according to a recent study by researchers at Berlin’s Institute of Transport Research.

The study by Michael Hardinghaus and Jan Weschke found protected bike lanes are valued about 20% higher by cargo bike users and even nearly 40% higher by e-bike users than by users of regular bike types.

Similarly, bike paths, side streets and smooth asphalt surfaces are valued between 15% and 60% higher by cargo bike users, and 20% to 60% higher by e-bike users.

The duo concluded the findings emphasised the need for increased investment in such higher quality cycling infrastructure, given the continued rise in popularity of electric and cargo bikes.

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