Businesses, retailers and voluntary organisations in Bath are being encouraged to trial the use of electric cargo bikes for local deliveries as part of a new scheme to reduce the number of journeys made by fossil-fuelled vehicles in the city.
The E-cargo Bike scheme, which is run and funded by Bath and North East Somerset Council, offers organisations a free two-week trial with e-cargo bike operators, Three Bags Full or WEGO Couriers.
The scheme aims to boost the use of low-impact, zero emission, e-cargo bikes for delivering goods in Bath to reduce city centre noise, congestion and air pollution.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, said: “This is a good opportunity for businesses to try out a green, low-impact delivery method for free. E-cargo bikes have zero tailpipe and extremely low carbon emissions, so they don’t incur CAZ charges or contribute to air pollution. Using e-cargo bikes instead of cars and vans is a way of providing fast, affordable deliveries in Bath, including areas where access for vehicles is restricted. It’s also a way to tackle the climate emergency and helps towards our aim of carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Local businesses will be offered a free two-week free trial with either operator, a feasibility review to check that using e-cargo is sustainable over the long term for the business, followed by further subsidies for an agreed period of up to six months should the trial go well.
Pulteney Pharmacy have recently completed an introductory two-week free trial with an e-cargo bike courier, through the scheme.
Ali Hashemian, owner of Pulteney and Bathampton Pharmacy, said: “Reducing air pollution is important to us – poor air quality is a big factor in everyone’s health, contributing to chronic heart and lung conditions. Not only are we reducing traffic and congestion by using e-cargo bike couriers, but we’re improving the health and lives of our patients, employees, and Bath residents.
“We are very happy with the service. Harry, our advisor from the council, ensured our needs were met and the e-cargo bike deliveries have really impressed us and our customers. We are now eager to find a way to make e-cargo bike deliveries a sustainable part of our business.”
Bath and North East Somerset Council has secured £500,000 of government funding to launch the scheme. The trial project will run until the end of August 2022, using a proportion of the secured funds, and will be extended if it proves successful.
Any business, organisation, community or voluntary group interested in taking part in the free trial scheme can register interest at www.bathnes.gov.uk/ecargobath.
The council will share the findings of the trial with the West of England Combined Authority to help shape the work they are scoping as part of the Urban Freight Transport project, which may include e-cargo loan bikes and consolidated goods delivery for local retailers and residents across.