Local businesses in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are reaping the benefits of an innovative mobility project which has provided them with customised cargobikes for their everyday transport needs.
The six-month cargobike pilot scheme, launched by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in May, has so farenticed 18 local businesses to take part.
The electric cargobikes, or e-cargobikes, have a cargo capacity of 60kgand a battery range of up to 160km, making them ideal for local deliveries and last-mile logistics. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has offered the cargobikes to local businesses at a discounted rate of €100 per month, which includes the customised branding on each cargobike.
The Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown cargobike project looks set to be the first of many around Ireland, with other local authorities seeking to enable and encourage the use of this climate-friendly transport solution. Dublin City Council launched itsown cargobike scheme earlier this month, and Fingal County Council and Cork City Council have also announced similar projects.
Fellini’s Italian restaurant in Deansgrange is one of the businesses taking part in the trial, and they’ve been using their e-cargobike for pizza deliveries.
“Most of our deliveries are within two or three kilometres of our restaurant and the e-cargobike is perfectly suited to those short trips,” says Fellini’s owner, Emilia Macari.
“We want to do our part for climate action and reduce the carbon footprint of our business. Using the e-cargobike instead of a car is one of theways that we can change our business to be more climate-friendly.”
The Village Café is a community-based service which operates from Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club in Stillorgan. The café has been using its e-cargobike for food deliveries to people who have had to shield at home during the pandemic.
“The e-cargobike is getting us out into the community,” says Michael Kinsella of The Village Café. “Lots of people haven’t even seen a cargobike before, so we get stopped all the time and asked questions about it.”
The pilot scheme is being analysed to gauge current use cases and future potential of e-cargobikes to replace trips that would traditionally have been taken by car or van. Enable researchers from Trinity College Dublin are working with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council through the Smart Sandyford programme to quantify the economic and environmental impacts of the e-cargobike trial.
Dr. Conor Dowling, Programme Manager Smart Sandyford, highlighted that “the analysis of journeys taken bye-cargobike will provide valuable information on the carbon offset by cycling as opposed to using standard delivery vehicles. As Dublin is a reasonably flat city there is an opportunity for e-cargobikes to make a real difference in how we approach local logistics.”
“For light goods deliveries and logistics, e-cargobikes can actually replace traditional vans, resulting in cheaper and faster deliveries, and all done in a more sustainable and climate-friendly way,” says Robert Burns, Director of Services with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
The e-cargobikes are being supplied and maintained by Bleeper, which also operates a public bike sharing service across Dublin.
“We’ve really enjoyed working on this project with local businesses around Dún Laoghaire Rathdown,” says Bleeper CEO, Hugh Cooney. “Each business has their own unique identity and needs, and we’ve worked hard to ensure that each business has the type of cargobike that suits them. The bespoke branding on each bike has proven very popular with the businesses as the cargobikes really grab people’s attention and this means more exposure for local businesses.”
“There is an alternative to cars and vans for deliveries. We have seen this as a faster means of delivery, so why not give it a try,” says Cathaoirleach Lettie McCarthy.
“The new cycling infrastructure around Dún Laoghaire has definitely helped in terms of getting around via bike. It is much more relaxing to cycle on the segregated routes than when you’re sharing the road with motor traffic. It takes the stress out of delivering by bike.”
The application phase for the DLR cargobike project is now coming to a close, with the deadline for new applications being Friday 8th October 2021. The businesses who are already participating in the scheme will continue using their e-cargobikes until the six-month trial period has ended.