City centre businesses offered free trials of electric cargo bikes

Lucy Johnston 2020, News

Apply now at: www.nestrans.org.uk/biketrial 

Businesses based in Aberdeen city centre which are looking to bolster their sustainability credentials can now apply for a free trial of an electric cargo bike.

Nestrans, the North East Transport Scotland Transport Partnership, is making six e-cargo bikes available for a free trial of up to one year. The trials will allow organisations to test a means of transport which could not only benefit their business but would also contribute to improved air quality and reduced congestion in the city centre.

Whether it’s carrying equipment, parcels and mail or deliveries of groceries, prescriptions or even flowers, it is hoped that businesses who are currently operating vehicles in the area would be able to replace at least one of these by trialling a bike.

The project complements the forthcoming introduction of a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the city centre later this year. As part of this, Aberdeen City Council received grant funding from Transport Scotland which has been allocated to Nestrans to develop and manage the e-cargo bike project.

The bikes available include four ‘Christiania’ e-cargo trikes and two ‘Riese and Müller Load 60’ e-cargo bikes, all of which will be supplied with a lockable cargo box which can be branded by individual businesses taking part. The bikes are an ideal solution for transporting work equipment, light freight or completing ‘last-mile’ deliveries.

In addition, all the necessary lights, locks and safety equipment required will be provided, as well as training made available to ensure that riders are confident in using the bikes before starting the trial.

Chair of Nestrans and Aberdeen City Council’s transport spokesperson, Councillor Sandra Macdonald, said: “We’re aware how much impact air quality has on people’s lives and although the data has improved over the last few years, there are still issues in some parts of the city centre.

“Aberdeen City Council’s environmental health team will continue to monitor air pollution levels and is raising awareness of actions the public can take to reduce air pollution levels even further.

“In addition, the City Council is working on several projects to improve air quality.  The low emission zone will direct traffic away from the city centre, making it a destination rather than a through-route. And further investments in infrastructure to improve the active network will encourage people to walk, cycle or take the bus rather than drive.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased we have been able to support Nestrans and Aberdeen City Council in helping to prepare for their Low Emission Zone. The e-cargo bikes we are funding will enable businesses to discover the benefits that new technology can bring in supporting more sustainable and affordable last-mile deliveries.

“Low Emission Zones protect public health and help improve air quality by restricting access to the most polluting vehicles, but they can also help manage demand and encourage people to think about active travel, public or shared transport options.

“We have committed to introducing Low Emission Zones in our four biggest cities by the end of 2020 and we will continue to provide funding which will help support local authorities, businesses and individuals to make this important transition – for the benefit of everyone who lives, works and visits our cities.”

More information and application guidance are available online at www.nestrans.org.uk/biketrial or for more information contact nestransinfo@nestrans.org.uk