£2 million e-cargo fund awarded to local authorities

Funding has been awarded to 18 local authorities from the £2 million eCargo Bike Grant Fund, funded by the DfT and delivered by Energy Saving Trust.

Local authorities across England were invited to bid for up to £200,000 each to purchase e-cargo bikes for use by local businesses or deployment within their own fleets. Additionally, funding was allocated through the fund’s national scheme offering limited companies and organisations up to 20% grant funding towards e-cargo bikes.

Successful applications to the local authority scheme offer a broad range of initiatives. Cambridgeshire County Council plans to deploy 30 e-cargo bikes across four initiatives in Cambridge covering first mile deliveries, a residential sharing scheme, a ‘try before you buy’ leasing scheme and pool e-cargo bikes with a combined aim of reducing travel emissions and encouraging active and sustainable transport options.

Devon County Council’s work will encourage the uptake of e-cargo bikes across partner organisations to support sustainable active business travel as an alternative to car and van use. 13 e-cargo bikes will be used to support Exeter’s ambition for net-zero service with two of the total used by the local hospital’s adult and social care teams to help care for the most isolated people in the city.

Tim Anderson, head of transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “It is exciting to see the strength and breadth of applications supported by the eCargo Bike Grant Fund. We received 58 applications and the 18 local authorities who have been successful in securing funding offered compelling cases for e-cargo bikes across a range of activity. These projects will purchase a total of 273 e-cargo bikes and nine e-cargo bike trailers, enabling more businesses to benefit from access. A further 409 e-cargo bikes have been grant-funded direct to 146 organisations through the national element of the programme.

“E-cargo bikes are an attractive low carbon transport solution that are becoming more widely adopted. They offer significant benefits, most impressively fuel cost savings and contributing to improved local air quality which are particularly attractive as we work towards a green recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. With more deliveries to our homes than ever, last-mile delivery is an important area for consideration in our journey to reduce transport emissions to net-zero by 2050. We expect the eCargo Bike Grant Fund to support wider and longer-term uptake of these light vehicles.”

Chris Heaton-Harris, cycling minister, added: “E-cargo bikes are great for not only business but also the environment, helping to lower costs and emissions. This funding will see groceries and other shopping delivered to people’s doors by bike instead of vans, helping ensure that as transport increases and we recover from COVID-19, it’ll be cleaner and greener than ever before.”

The 18 local authorities are Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bedford Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Colchester Borough Council, Derby City Council, Devon County Council, Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, London Borough of Richmond, London Borough of Wandsworth, Milton Keynes Council, North Tyneside Council, Nottingham City Council, Plymouth City Council, Sheffield City Council, Southampton City Council and Wirral Council.

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