This sharp jump in demand has seen fleets scrambling to keep up. Some of the big names, like Uber for example, are already working towards fully electrifying their deliveries.
This has undoubtedly had an impact on our streets. UK cities are becoming a buzzing metropolis of freehubs and electric motors.
According to the Bicycle Association 2,000 cargo bikes were sold in the UK for commercial use last year and that number is continuing to grow. They’re faster, greener, cheaper, so the reasons for going pedal-power makes sense.
However, the increased amount of e-bikes, cargo bikes, and electrically-assisted vehicles on our streets has provoked a conversation about the way in which they are ridden.
Thefts, road-wars, and collisions are often mentioned in the news, but what’s actually happening? We took a look behind the scenes.
One of these micro-mobility growing pains is bike thefts. For couriers and fleet owners alike, nothing is worse than a stolen bike. No bike means no deliveries & crucially, no income.
If you own a bike the chances are high that it could get nicked, with stats suggesting 50% of riders have or will have a bike stolen at some point in their lives.
This has a disastrous knock-on effect too. Of this 50%, 66% cycle less and 25% stop riding altogether after experiencing a bike theft.
The demand for couriers has never been higher, but are we likely to see a declining workforce just because of bike thefts? Surely not. It’s an issue that needs to be tackled head-on regardless.
The answer in the past has been to simply use the best bike lock you can, but this hasn’t worked. And the unique demands of last mile delivery mean triple locking your wheels, frame, and handlebars simply isn’t practical when dashing around the city.
Damage & Vandalism
Another one of these safety concerns for couriers is experiencing bike damage or vandalism.
Couriers are the most visible protagonists on our streets. A new hero that was able to keep moving during the Covid-19 pandemic when most of us were locked down indoors.
However their street-level visibility also means they’re increasingly becoming the victims of bicycle related crimes, verbal abuse, & vandalism.
Riders in Nottingham have spoken about the ‘disrespectful’ attitude many of them face on a daily basis. And it’s evident from the e-scooter trials, that we’re going to have to tackle vandals to make e-mobility a much more appealing option.
It’s clear that insurance for couriers is a must-have. But the options out there are sparse and what is out there might not be right for your needs.
We’re aiming to change that. With a flexible solution to give riders peace of mind knowing they can keep riding, working and earning, even if their bike can’t.
Any Laka commercial policy includes theft and damage cover. Bikes, e-bikes, batteries, and accessories are covered against theft and whether it’s a traffic accident or act of vandalism, Laka covers any accidental damage to bikes and accessories.
We'll also get it fixed or replaced pronto. We make speed a priority when shit hits the fan. All of our claims are handled in-house by our team of experts and usually agreed within a day. We prioritise getting your riders back delivering ASAP.
Part of this service is bike hire. We know it’s important to get back to work quickly, that’s why we offer £200 so riders can rent a bike following a claim.
And if a rider becomes stranded after bike theft or damage, Laka will also cover travel costs to get riders safely and quickly back to their work or home.
We’re not finished either. We hope to build new features and products to fit the one-of-a-kind challenges you and your riders face.