Local organisations in Southampton can now benefit from a new scheme supporting the uptake of alternative sustainable delivery methods across the city region.
The RIDES (Realising Innovative Deliveries in Southampton and Eastleigh) project has been launched by Southampton City Council in partnership with Eastleigh Borough Council and will see a fleet of electric cargo bikes made available to businesses and educational, charitable, community and voluntary sector organisations to trial.
It comes after the council received almost £50,000 from the Government’s eCargo Bike Grant Fund, following a successful funding bid in partnership with The Hub Cycleworks and Monty’s Bike Hub, supported by Zedify Southampton. The Department for Transport funding, which was administered by the Energy Saving Trust, is designed to help organisations foster a more sustainable approach to operational practices.
The funding has been used to purchase five Tern GSD S00 e-bikes and five Urban Arrow flatbed e-bikes equipped with lockable boxes capable of carrying up to 100kg to enable the transportation of multiple goods in and around the city.
The e-cargo bikes will be available for local organisations to try out for free to see whether they can work for them in providing a practical and greener solution for urban deliveries. Departments at Southampton City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council will also have the opportunity to utilise the bikes from the fleet.
Southampton City Council has appointed Zedify Southampton as the service provider responsible for maintaining the bikes and managing the scheme. Zedify is a national zero-emissions delivery service that uses an all-electric fleet of specially adapted cargo bikes, trikes and vans to serve the needs of local businesses, national brands and local authorities. Southampton’s Zedify operation is run by The Hub Cycleworks bike store in Shirley and provides several delivery services to the council.
Councillor Steve Leggett, cabinet member for Green City and Place, said: “Sustainable distribution is a key part of our long-term goals for a clean, green, sustainable and healthy city. This project will support more local organisations to adopt an ethical alternative to traditional deliveries, leading to reduced congestion and improved air quality for our city. With less traffic on our roads as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we know these issues are at the forefront of people’s minds now more than ever.
“With that in mind, I hope local organisations will be inspired to take advantage of these new e-bikes and do their bit to sustain in the long-term some of the positives we’ve seen over recent months. Finally, I want to thank our hard-working transport team for their success in securing the funding for these bikes, which represent another important contribution to our Green City Vision. Congratulations and well done!”
David Munday, owner of The Hub Cycleworks and Zedify Southampton, added: “We passionately believe that zero-emission delivery via electric cargo bikes is the right answer for so many businesses in the Southampton and Eastleigh area. The national Zedify group has over ten years of experience of servicing customers from national logistics companies to local businesses.
“In running this fleet for the council, we can give businesses the opportunity to try out the capabilities of electric cargo bikes and, in doing so, reduce their operating costs, help tackle congestion and improve air quality across the region.”