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Cargo bikes contest the monopoly of delivery vans

Cargo bikes contest the monopoly of delivery vans

From June, businesses based in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County will be able to trial eCargo bikes for the delivery of their goods and services

On face value, bikes are meant for personal travel and recreation, and using them to deliver goods may be sustainable but hardly practical. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is among the local administrations which think otherwise.

Turning thought into action, the Irish county, together with Smart Sandyford and bike sharing operator Bleeper, have launched a pilot project to show DLR-based businesses the benefit of using eCargo bikes for the delivery of their products or services.

EUR 100 per month

The scheme, which is set to begin in June, will allow local businesses to rent electric or eCargo bikes at a discounted rate of EUR 100 per month. Thus they will be able to replace their usual workhorse – car or van – with a far more sustainable means of transportation, especially for short trips.

The pilot project will run initially for six months (June-November 2021), and is now open for applications to all local businesses. The only condition is that the applicant must provide secure off-street storage for the rented eCargo bike.

The pedal-assisted eCargo bikes have a cargo carrying capacity of 60 kg. They can travel up to 160 km on a single battery charge and can be fully recharged in just 6 hours.

The aim of this pilot scheme is to introduce more businesses to cargo bikes and let them experience the benefits of them first-hand,” says DLR Cathaoirleach (Mayor), Una Power, as quoted by the county website. “We’re offering a low-risk and low-cost opportunity for businesses to try out a transportation solution which is better for the environment, better for staff wellbeing, and better for the bottom line.”

Bleeper CEO, Hugh Cooney, joins in: “Businesses are looking for ways to be more efficient and eco-friendly, and cargo bikes offer a solution to that by being cheaper and cleaner to run. And they’re a lot of fun to cycle too!

Saving on diesel and time spent in traffic

Last week’s launch of the pilot scheme was attended by a number of local businesses which were not new to cargo bikes and wanted to encourage their counterparts to jump onboard, too.

The eCargo bike has really transformed our business,” recalls Annie Bloom, Manager of Reka. “Before we got the bike we were spending a lot of money on diesel and wasting so much time sitting in traffic. It was frustrating on both a personal and a business level. Once we switched to the eCargo bike we never looked back. Our delivery riders love cycling them, and our customers are always delighted and intrigued when they see the eCargo bike delivering their goods. Over and above cost, the main reason for wanting the bike is the sustainability and green benefits.”

She adds that getting around Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown by bike has been made a lot easier thanks to the new cycling infrastructure. Riding a bike on the segregated routes is far more relaxing than when you are sharing the road with motor vehicles. Delivering by bike takes the stress out, says Bloom.

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