West Berkshire Council trials eCargo bikes for local businesses
New eCargo bikes are being offered to local businesses in the district to try out as part of a new environment scheme.
This has been made possible from a successful bid that we submitted to the Department for Transport for funding via the Energy Savings Trust.
Under the trial we have two eCargo bikes available with large capacity 700 litre cool boxes to hire from 11 April, with a further third bike available at a later date. These are eye-catching vehicles that can be branded with vinyl if the business wishes to, so long as they are removed on return. Ideas for their use could include:
- Static / mobile promotion - indoors or outdoors, at summer fayres or events etc.
- Sale of goods or foods, where allowed, in streets or parks - one will be available with a cool box.
- Local deliveries, in place of small vans, demonstrating a commitment to zero-carbon transport as they have a range of about 30 miles on one charge.
- Carriage of tools and equipment by trades' people.
These are classified as bicycles so no driving licence is required to ride them. Insurance is not compulsory, but we would recommend any business check that they have cover for employees and public liability etc.
Users will find they take a little getting used to, so riders would have to be competent and confident cyclists. Businesses would be using them at their own risk and they need to be stored securely when not in use. Familiarisation and information on use will be provided on pick up.
We require 2 working days' notice to take them out of storage in a town centre location for collection and the eCargo bikes will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Cllr Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for Environment and Waste at West Berkshire Council, said:
"We are really pleased to have been successful in our bid for these eCargo bikes as its great news for businesses across the district.
"This initiative aligns with our vision in re-shaping our town centres and high streets, such as our Newbury Masterplan, and Thatcham and Hungerford plans, which is to ensure we are a district that is innovative and entrepreneurial by promoting sustainability, biodiversity and healthy living.
"We look forward to seeing local businesses start using these eCargo bikes for local deliveries or town-centre sales / promotions."