Climate Action Ilkley is starting a community eCargo bike project with funding of over £17,500 from the Postcode Local Trust which is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Kath Steward of Climate Action Ilkley said: "We were delighted and excited when we found out just before Christmas that our bid for funding to the Postcode Local Trust had been successful.
"This will enable us to purchase the first electric cargo bikes together with an electric cargo bike trailer. We intend to get different models of eCargo Bikes so people can try out the range of cargo bikes that is available and see what they prefer. The bikes will be moved between the locations in Ilkley and Ben Rhydding every few months to make this possible.
"The idea of starting an eCargo Bike Scheme had been developed for a while in Climate Action Ilkley and we are now ready to get started. The original idea was set out within the Ilkley Sustainability Plan. The benefits of an eCargo Bike Scheme for Ilkley are obvious and we are convinced that eCargo Bikes are part of the solution to air pollution, overcrowded roads and making a transition to more active modes of travel within the town. This scheme gives residents access to cargo bikes for occasional use, or the chance to try out using eCargo Bikes for both residents or businesses, before committing themselves to buying one.
"ECargo bikes can be used for moving things from place to place that would normally need a car, for example, they can be used for local deliveries by businesses, by people doing their weekly supermarket shop, to carry things as heavy and as big as a washing machine, to help with house moves locally, or with taking old stuff to the tip, or transporting tools and compost to allotments, the possibilities are endless. And all of this reduces carbon dioxide emissions and reduces motor vehicles on our roads.
"The problem for a lot of people is the cost of the bike, which can be several thousand pounds. The eCargo Bike Scheme provides a way around that with common ownership and bikes available to borrow. To make the scheme accessible to as many residents as possible we are creating a membership scheme with the bikes available to borrow for a donation rather than a fixed fee. The donation could be in money or in time and skills to help us look after the bikes. They can be borrowed from between 1-3 days at a time.
"The bikes will be available from locations within Ilkley and Ben Rhydding which are currently being negotiated. We hope to have one centrally in Ilkley, we have approached Bradford Council for a parking bay next to the new pocket park in the central car park, where we would need to install a cycle hangar.
"The first bike will be arriving in January so watch out for it on the streets of Ilkley, it is a bright yellow Tern GSD kitted out with rear and front racks and panniers. We are also ordering an Urban Arrow cargo L which will arrive probably in February, and a Carla Cargo electric trailer, which can be used with one of the cargo bikes or with your own bike.
"We hope this is just the beginning, we have plans to extend to electric tandems trikes for disabled riders and cycle rickshaws for the elderly in the future, so everyone can enjoy the benefits of cycling.
"If anyone is interested in finding out more about the eCargo Bike Scheme or would like to help us with the project please contact Kath Steward at firstname.lastname@example.org"