Delivering sustainability: eCargo bikes coming to Colchester

PUBLISHED: 21 May 2020

Date issued: 21 May 2020

A fleet of electric delivery bikes will soon be criss-crossing the borough, thanks to a successful bid by Colchester Borough Council.
A grant of £136,912 from the Energy Saving Trust will see 25 electric cargo bikes (eCargo bikes) and five electric trailers (eTrailers) being used by three council teams and 10 community champions to carry out daily activities and make deliveries and collections around town.
The zero-emission cargo bikes and trailers will play a key part in helping to deliver on the council’s target to be carbon neutral by 2030, following its Climate Emergency declaration last year. As part of the pledge, the council is working towards electrifying its fleet of vehicles which will help reduce carbon as well as contribute to reducing air pollution.

The new eCargo bikes and trailers will be well-suited to replace short journeys usually made by car or van and showcase the role green transport can play in reducing carbon emissions and supporting a healthier workforce.
As well as reduced fuel costs, the eCargo bikes and trailers require less kerb space to make deliveries and collections and offer quicker access around streets where they can use bus lanes, cycle paths and other routes unavailable to cars and vans.
Ten local champion organisations and three enthusiastic council teams will be highly visible in the town sharing stories and experiences of using eCargo bikes and encouraging other organisations to give them a go. 

A pool of seven eCargo bikes and trailers will be available for other council teams and local businesses and organisations to borrow for short term trials. Efforts will also be made to involve harder-to-reach communities with the project.

Project champions involved, include:

  • Colchester Borough Homes
  • Wivenhoe Town Council
  • Colchester Bike Kitchen
  • Millwheels (Cannock Mill)
  • Repair Reuse Recycle
  • Juicy Bar
  • Norwegian Bakers
  • Olive Branch
  • Fisher Jones Greenwood/Charter Court, and
  • East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Council’s Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “I am delighted that we will soon be able to work with our project champions to trial this new fleet of eco-friendly electric cargo bikes.
“Even before coronavirus highlighted the crucial role transport plays in our everyday lives, we were committed to taking action to meet our ambitious 2030 net carbon zero target by supporting sustainable journeys.
“If the climate emergency wasn’t reason enough to look at greener transport systems, the coronavirus crisis has forced us to think about other ways to travel and for businesses to move goods from A to B. Now is the time to seize further opportunities to reconfigure our roads and public spaces for safer walking and cycling, which in turn will lead to cleaner air, less congested streets and healthier lives.

“Sustainable methods of transport, such as eCargo bikes, are a great way for the council, local businesses and other organisations to support this activity and reduce our collective carbon footprint, as their effect is immediate.”

Tim Anderson, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, added: “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 eCargo Bike Grant Fund scheme is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Energy Saving Trust.


Page last reviewed: 21 May 2020


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