A‘last-mile’ electric bike delivery scheme could be launched in Stratford if the district council is successful in winning funding.
The eCargo scheme is designed to reduce the number of cars and vans coming into the town centre for deliveries, with purpose-built electric cargo bikes being used in their place.
Documents on the Stratford District Council website published last week, show the authority is set to bid for £60,000 from the Energy Saving Trust, which it would match for an overall budget of £120,000. If the bid is successful, the money would enable the scheme to run for five years and fund the purchase of ten specialist eCargo bikes from Stratford cycle manufacturer, Pashley.
The idea is that businesses will be encouraged to buy their own eCargo bikes for deliveries, but will be able to try out one of the council’s ten bikes before making the financial commitment.
According to the bid, Stratford Bike Hire, would work with Pashley to provide training for users.
The council argues that online business surveys from last year show there is a demand from businesses for an eCargo delivery service, and the scheme has support from a whole range of organisations, including the county council, Shakespeare’s England, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Stratforward BID.
Making its case for the money, the district council says such a scheme would chime with its declaration of a climate emergency, reduce air pollution, cut congestion and enhance the historic core of Stratford.
Stratford mayor Cllr Kevin Taylor, said: “The town council’s vision for Stratford-upon-Avon is for a greener, sustainable and environmentally friendly town which is attractive and vibrant and improves the quality of life for people who live, work, invest or visit the town
“Our mission is to reduce our carbon footprint and develop greener, sustainable quality services that benefit the town.
“As a result, the town council had no hesitation in fully supporting the district council in its application for funding.
“We are confident that this scheme will bring significant improvements to the town centre.”
In January the Herald reported about another project that could see the introduction of a green, last-mile delivery service in Stratford.
Entitled Project Damascus, the scheme is working with 16 national delivery companies to have parcels dropped at a hub on the outskirts of town. Electric vehicles or bikes would then provide the last-mile service to homes and businesses.
The TravelSpirit Foundation project was at a research stage.