In September 2018, the Belgian cycle logistics cooperative urbike launched an innovative project in Brussels to prove the potential of cargo bike delivery with 4 major companies: the national postal company bpost, the retail group Delhaize, the pharmaceutical company Multipharma and the home care and services centre CSD. The objective? To transform urban mobility and improve the quality of life in cities by deploying innovative and efficient delivery models using cargo bikes and small containers for the last mile. In particular, urbike is promoting the use of the BicyLift (see https://www.fleximodal.fr/): a 113 cm wide trailer capable of transporting EURO pallets up to 200 kg and containers with a capacity of 1.2 m3 (see picture below).
Unfortunately, the Belgian traffic rules stipulate that only trailers less than 1 metre wide may be used on public roads, making the use of the BicyLift illegal.
After a first negotiation at the Brussels regional level, the urbike cooperative obtained in April 2019 an exemption to use its trailers in the Brussels-Capital Region for pilot projects. Encouraged by this initial success, urbike continued negotiations at federal level with the Minister for Mobility, supported by a large consortium of partners and supporters : Comeos (the trade and services federation), Decathlon, Delhaize, bpost, the Belgian Cycle Logistics Federation, several cyclists' associations, the University of Saint-Louis, etc.
After 2 years of hard work, the Federal Minister for Mobility François Bellot and the King signed a royal decree on 16 June 2020 updating the traffic regulations. This legalises the use of bicycle trailers up to 120 cm wide throughout Belgium. This news was enthusiastically welcomed by Belgian cycle logisticians and many customers who, with the dispensation of the Brussels Region, could already test the BicyLift trailer in the capital... and were keen to launch pilots in other cities in the country. The first deliveries to Antwerp, Liège and Charleroi will start this summer! The couriers are in the starting blocks, BicyLift trailers loaded to travel through urban centres with the goods to be delivered!