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Outspoken Cycles wins contract to run e-cargo bike library in Norwich

Norfolk County Council can confirm today that Outspoken Cycles Ltd in partnership with Zedify Norwich has won the contract to provide a e-cargo bike library to businesses in Norwich.

The procurement process began earlier this year after Norfolk County Council successfully secured £171,545 from the Government’s annual Air Quality Grant.

The e-cargo bike library pilot will run until the end of March 2025 and aims to help local businesses in Norwich cut operating costs while lowering their emissions.

The scheme will allow businesses to borrow an e-bike for free for up to a maximum of 8-weeks to see if they could make the transition to a cargo bike permanently in the future.  The bike will be free to borrow for the agreed period with a security deposit required. To launch the scheme Norfolk County Council is offering a reduced deposit of £100* for the first 20 businesses to hire.

A launch event is taking place outside The Forum in Norwich on Tuesday 28 November**. Local businesses and other interested individuals are invited to come along and look at the bikes available to borrow and talk to the staff operating the scheme. Bikes will be available to view and test ride, alongside other interactive activities from 10am – 3pm.  

Graham Plant, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “This is a fantastic scheme which will give small businesses access to 11 e-cargo bikes in Norwich city centre. We’re thrilled to have Outspoken Cycles Ltd operating the scheme on our behalf who with so much experience will no doubt be able to make the Norwich scheme a huge success.  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. “

The successful company Outspoken Cycles Ltd arrive in Norwich with previous experience. A company that specialises in cargo bikes and their use. They currently operate a scheme on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council for families and businesses to trial a cargo bike, as well as an e-bike trial scheme in Northampton on behalf of North Northamptonshire Council.

Throughout the pilot Norfolk County Council will 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.

Robert Hampton, general manager of Outspoken Cycles Ltd said; “We are ecstatic to be able to deliver this project. It represents a critical opportunity for local business to experience all the advantages that come from using a cargo bike. E-cargo bikes are often overlooked as an alternative to vans, but they represent a low cost, low maintenance, easy to use and reliable local logistics solution. We have seen them transform business and not just in last mile delivery. We are really excited for people to have a chance to try a different way of transporting items and hopefully finding a better way to work”

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.
  • Congestion: E-cargo bikes contribute less to congestion in cities. This allows for more space and movement for all modes of transport.
  • Health benefits: The e-cargo bike users will benefit from increased exercise as well as the health benefits gained through cleaner air for both residents and visitors.
  • Business benefits: Businesses who use the e-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  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.” More information can be found at: