A new scheme to allow Wirral businesses to “try before you buy” electric cargo bikes is set to go ahead in the borough.
The environmentally friendly bikes will allow cleaner deliveries to be made by Wirral businesses and organisations.
Wirral Council is one of just 18 local authorities to have made a successful bid to the Energy Savings Trust for a grant and will now receive almost £40,000 for the purchase of five eCargo bikes and two trailers.
The scheme will allow the eCargo bikes to be trialled by and hired by local businesses and educational establishments.
The bid was put together in the first week of lockdown. It was a collaborative approach with Wirral Council officers working closely with ReThink Now! CIC, Wirral Environment Network, Wirral Met College, Cycling UK and Peel L&P with support from the Chamber of Commerce and Reciprocity.
The aim is to rapidly reduce the environmental impact of existing delivery vehicle fleets, including enabling a reduction in the number of journeys undertaken by motorised vehicles, safer roads and improved carbon footprint for the council and local business.
Other benefits expected to be brought are increased community health and wellbeing, improvement in air quality and reduced congestion and on street parking from delivery vehicles in the local area.
Fewer delivery vehicles should also allow for a more attractive area for pedestrians and cyclists, and the project ties in with the council’s commitment to protecting the environment and the declaration of a climate emergency in the borough.
Wirral Council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Liz Grey, said: “This project will help Wirral businesses try out eCargo bikes and hopefully encourage more of them to consider their use. These bikes are a great way for businesses to make cleaner and more environmentally friendly deliveries.
“It is a fantastic scheme and one which I hope local businesses and other organisations will now make the most of to play their part in keeping Wirral safer while doing our bit to combat the climate emergency.”
The eCargo Bike Grant Fund scheme is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Energy Saving Trust.
Tim Anderson, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The Department for Transport eCargo Bike Grant Fund attracted a significant number of applications. The 18 local authorities who have successfully secured funding will purchase a total of 273 ecargo bikes and nine ecargo bike trailers, enabling more businesses to benefit from access. eCargo bikes are an attractive low carbon transport solution which offer important benefits, most impressively fuel cost savings and contributing to improved local air quality. Last mile delivery is an important area for consideration in our journey to reduce transport emissions to net zero by 2050.”
The eligibility criteria and code of practice are available at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/transport/ecargo-bike-grant-fund