Cargo bicycles for business schemes in Cork City and Dún Laoghaire

Two different cargo bicycles for business schemes are to be set up in Cork City and Dún Laoghaire in Co Dublin.

As part of the launch of the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council scheme, a local already using cargo bike deliveries was quoted in the council’s press release.

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Reka Kurtos, manager at Annie Bloom florist, said: “The electric cargo bike has really transformed our business. 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,” said Kurtos.

Kurtos added: “The new cycling infrastructure around Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown has definitely helped in terms of getting around via bike. It is much more relaxing to cycle on the segregated routes than when you’re sharing the road with motor traffic. It takes the stress out delivering by bike.”

The number of courier and postal businesses using cargo bicycles in Ireland has grown in recent years and now includes An Post in a number of locations around the country; Pedal Power Delivery in Drogheda; and DHL, UPS, Wheels Couriers, Cyclone, the Pony Express, and Deadline all mainly in Dublin City centre.

Other businesses using cargo bicycles in Dublin include Offbeat Donut Co, The Pig & Heifer Restaurant, the Bretzel Bakery, and Deliveroo.

Cork City Council said: “Businesses and community groups will be offered the opportunity to avail of a fleet of cargo bikes after Cork City Council was one of 20 projects to receive funding from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Public Service Innovation Fund.”

The council said that a “library” of cargo bikes is to made available to encourage switch to cleaner deliveries and services in the private sector business. The council said the scheme should be in place at the end of this year following procurement of the fleet.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh said: “Cork City Council is focussed on creating a city of sustainable urban growth and therefore wants to encourage sustainable travel, not only amongst residents and visitors to the city but also amongst the business sector – and there is huge opportunity for cargo bikes in retail delivery.”

The council said that under the scheme, it’s planned that suitable business and community groups will be offered a cargo bike for six months on a trial basis to see if they could use a cargo bike on a daily basis as an alternative to less sustainable means of transport.

Frank Fitzgerald, Sustainable Travel Awareness Officer in Cork City Council’s Sports and Sustainability section, said: “Across Europe, it is estimated that 50% of all motorised trips that involve the transport of goods in cities could be shifted to cargo bikes and bicycles. The diversity of cargo bikes is astonishing. Cargo bikes take many different shapes and forms. Besides the cyclist, they can carry goods and people of up to 250 kg and can even be coupled with a trailer for extra capacity.”

Conn O’Donovan, chairperson of Cork Cycling Campaign, said: “Cargo-bikes are a great way to allow people to use bikes who many need to carry, deliver, collect, or drop off goods or bulky items. Cork City centre is a compact, low-lying area and we would be hopeful that business, community groups, social enterprises and other groups would see the many benefits of using these bikes such as lower transport costs, free parking, ease of use, and green transport.”

Meanwhile, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it was partnering with Smart Sandyford, and bike sharing operator Bleeper yesterday launched a pilot project which will “enable businesses based in the county to trial eCargo bikes for the delivery of their products or services to clients”.

The council said that its pilot scheme, will run for an initial six month period between June and November 2021 — it is now open for applications. The council said: “Any business based in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, that can also provide secure off-street storage for an eCargo bike, is welcome to apply.”

The council said: “The pedal-assist electric cargo bikes will be available to businesses at a discounted rate of €100 per month. The bikes have a cargo carrying capacity of 60kg, with a battery which can last for up to 160km and can be fully recharged in 6 hours.”

“The aim of this pilot scheme is to introduce more businesses to cargobikes and let them experience the benefits of them first-hand,” says An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Una Power.

She added: “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, said: “Businesses are looking for ways to be more efficient and eco-friendly, and cargobikes offer a solution to that by being cheaper and cleaner to run. And they’re a lot of fun to cycle too!”

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