Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of 311.000 inhabitants. Utrecht is centrally located and is an attractive location for many businesses. The city has the largest proportion of creative professionals in the Netherlands. The city also has a large proportion of young people, with 70.000 students of higher education, which results in the most highly educated labor force in the country.
The city has a rich history that goes back to Roman times. The University of Utrecht was founded in 1636 and has now some 31.000 students of which 6% international students.
The central railroad station has about 115000 travellers a day of which some 30 % arrive by bicycle. Ownership of bicycles is 840 bicycles per 1000 inhabitants and the use of bikes is 33% as average where in the range of < 5 km the percentage is 42% of all trips on bike.
The following illustration gives some insight in the traffic dynamics of the city:
Figur 1 Traffic in and out of Utrecht 2010
Inner city distribution is one of the problems which the city of Utrecht tries to tackle. One of the initiatives is the Cargo Hopper introduced in 2009. The cargo hopper is a transport solution for the last part of the transport chain, with an electric “train” as the final link in the transport chain. (www.cargohopper.nl)
The Cyclelogistics project aims to involve more local actors in initiatives for promoting cargo bikes in the last mile of city transport. Initiatives will concentrate on the municipalities in the region and the city itself, as well as on companies which deliver good into the city centre.
Also initiatives will focus on companies in the (inner ) city which themselves generate traffic of goods in order to offer alternatives for their good transportation and delivery by different kind of cargo bikes.