E-cargo bikes to arrive in Norwich later this year
Norfolk County Council has been successful in securing £171,545 from the Government’s annual Air Quality Grant. The money will be used to create an e-cargo bike library, helping local businesses in Norfolk to cut operating costs while lowering their emissions.
The Air Quality Grant run by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) helps councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities and reduce the impact of air pollution on people’s health.
Graham Plant, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “We’re thrilled to have been successful in our bid which will give small businesses access to 10 e-cargo bikes in Norwich city centre.
“Taking diesel vehicles off the roads cuts air pollution. The bikes working five days a week could cut nitrogen dioxide and carbon emissions equivalent to those produced by around 10 vans each week. The bikes will be fitted with equipment to allow the precise emissions savings to be calculated. “
E-cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular among logistics operators, retailers and tradespeople looking to deliver packages to homes and other business premises with minimal impact on the local area. The benefits from this flexible transport impact everybody from;
- Air quality benefits: E-cargo bikes are estimated to cut carbon emissions by 90% compared to diesel vans.
- Health benefits: The e-cargo bike users will benefit from better health through increased exercise as well as the the health benefits gained through cleaner air for both residents and visitors.
- Business benefits: Businesses who use the cargo bikes can expect to see considerable savings in both money and time.
Jamie Osborn, councillor for Mancroft Ward in the city centre, said; “This is a fantastic step towards helping make Norwich a greener city. Taking cars and vans off the roads and replacing them with e-bikes will have health benefits, improve access for local businesses, and cut pollution. Norwich can look forward to the e-bikes hitting the streets as part of a wider effort to clean up the city’s air.”
A procurement process will now begin to identify a provider for the e-cargo bike loan scheme and it is hoped they will arrive in Norwich by August 2023.
The pilot scheme which is funded for two years will allow the council to accurately quantify the impact on air quality by replacing van journeys, as the e-cargo bikes will provide mapping and journey data. This data will provide us with evidence which can be used for estimating the air quality impacts of future interventions across the county.