Four local authorities in Ireland are now running or planning to run cargo bicycle schemes to highlight the business potential of cargo bicycles — Dublin City Council, the latest to launch a scheme, is now looking for businesses to apply.
The schemes hope to show to businesses the potential to switch from vans or car deliveries to cargo bicycles. EU-funded Cyclelogistics research found that on average slightly over half of motorised trips in European cities involving goods could be switched to normal or cargo bicycles.
Earlier this year Cork City Council, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, and Fingal County Council launched schemes for businesses.
While Dublin City Council are the latest to launch a scheme, it has already has the highest concentration of business cargo bicycles in use.
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.
Non-courier businesses using cargo bikes in Dublin City include Offbeat Donut Co, The Pig & Heifer Restaurant, the Bretzel Bakery, Small Changes and Deliveroo.
Dublin City Council said in a statement today that like Dún Laoghaire, it has teamed up with bicycle sharing operator Bleeper to run a trial electric cargo bikes scheme for six months.
The pilot scheme, which begins in September, is now open for applications to any business based in the Dublin City Council area which can provide secure off-street storage for the bicycle.
“The pedal-assist electric cargobikes 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,” Dublin City Council said.
Jennifer McGrath, Head of Micro Mobility in Dublin City Council, said: “The aim of this pilot scheme is to introduce more businesses to cargobikes and let them experience the benefits of them first-hand. We’re offering a low-risk and low-cost opportunity for businesses to try out a transportation solution which is better for the climate, 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!”
Dublin City Council provided the following quotes showing the experience of business using cargo bikes:
Peadar Rice, who runs Small Changes wholefoods store said: “We use our cargobike for deliveries to customers as well as transferring goods between our two stores in Drumcondra and Inchicore. We choose to use a cargobike because of its small ecological footprint but it’s also a very practical decision: Cycling is the most convenient and efficient way for us to get around the city. Sitting in traffic would be a waste of time and money.”
William Despard, owner of Bretzel Bakery in Portobello and newly-opened Irish Food Emporium on Duke Street in Dublin 2, said: “In twenty of years of running Bretzel we have always had a green focus, with bike trailers and electrical vans and now the delivering of goods by cargobike at the Irish Food Emporium. Cargobikes make sense from a business perspective because they are the quickest and most reliable way to transport goods in Dublin city centre.”
He added: “The new cycling infrastructure around Dublin city 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 a lot of the stress out of delivering by bike.”