In May this year Birmingham was one of the local authorities to secure funding to run an e-Cargo bike pilot scheme. The pilot, a long-term lease programme that includes maintenance and training for 13 e-Cargo bikes and 7 e-Cargo trikes, will provide a basis for the wider take up of e-Cargo vehicles in Birmingham.
The scheme forms part of the Council’s broader plan to support sustainable freight vehicles and practices more widely. Four of the new bikes will be kept by Birmingham City Council and will replace van trips as part of a move to modernise its transport fleet.
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar said: “I’m delighted that e-Cargo bikes have arrived in Birmingham and in time to support the amazing work of the Active Wellbeing Society.
This pilot scheme will help to improve air quality in our city and support organisations in their efforts to reduce emissions. It is another step towards achieving net zero carbon in Birmingham. We will be monitoring the impact of the pilot closely as we look to develop more sustainable freight initiatives in the future.”
The first delivery bikes arrived on 18 December with four to be used by The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) over Christmas and beyond, to collect donations and deliver food and clothing to vulnerable people across the city.
The bikes will also transport growing, bike repair and sports equipment as part of other free initiatives delivered by the cooperative.
Chair of TAWS and Ward Councillor Lisa Trickett said: “The eCargo bike scheme will really help our staff and volunteers to get essential items to where they are needed over the Christmas period.
Whether that is delivering food parcels and meals, clothing and toy donations or our ‘Christmas Treat Bags’ to the communities we are supporting. I
t is vitally important that we are able to work with our partner organisations to support individuals and families during such challenging times. The eCargo bikes will enable us to meet local need in a sustainable and efficient way.”
The bikes have been supplied and manufactured by Raleigh and are brand-new designs with the ability to carry up to a 100kg payload, plus the rider, and travel up to 40 miles on a single charge with zero emissions. Raleigh’s Commercial Partnerships Manager, Ed Pegram said: “Raleigh are very pleased to support the Birmingham eCargo bike share, it marks one of the first cargo share schemes in the UK supporting businesses become more sustainable and creating more liveable towns and cities with improved air quality and reduced congestion.”
A second batch of bikes will be delivered in 2021 and loaned to the Council’s local partner organisations, to demonstrate how they might be used to support day-to-day operations and deliver goods and services.