Salford’s first fleet of electric cargo bikes will be taking to the roads next year.
Salford City Council is to buy 18 electric bikes which can carry cargo and three separate trailers which can be attached to electric or ordinary bikes after a successful £132,000 funding bid to the Energy Saving Trust.
Two bikes and one trailer will be used at Salford Royal Hospital, two bikes will go to the RHS Garden Bridgewater and one bike and one trailer to the University of Salford.
One bike each will be donated to local community interest company Visit From The Stork to deliver recycled toys to families in need, wholefood shop and café The Deli Lama for deliveries and local photographer Simon Buckley, the inspiration behind the Not Quite Light Festival, capturing early morning shots of Salford.
The remaining ten bikes and two trailers will be available for rent by any organisation or company in the city to try out the idea, find the right bike for their needs and encourage more green deliveries. Local bike hire shop Manchester Bike Hire, based in Chapel Street, will manage the rental scheme.
Each bike will be fitted with a tracker to enable the University of Salford to collect and analyse use of the vehicles over the three-year scheme.
City Mayor, Paul Dennett, said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in cycling during the pandemic and we’re all familiar with take away and courier cyclists whizzing around the city.
“E cargo bikes allow larger deliveries to be made safely and easily and are a brilliant idea because they have little impact on the environment and help keep the cyclist fit.
“Our bike library will allow local businesses to try out different models of bike to find one to suit their needs and the more vans and cars we can replace with them the better for easing congestion and helping to tackle climate change.”
Kimberly Bond, founder of Visit From The Stork, said the social enterprise which supports families across Greater Manchester had planned to launch That Toy Thing before the pandemic.
“When the pandemic started, we switched to delivering packages of baby essentials instead and now support lots of families who need help with everything including the basics like toys and clothes,” she said.
“That Toy Thing is a service to save toys from going to waste and redistribute them to families across Salford and Manchester.
“We secured funds from the National Lottery Community Fund to give 100 vulnerable families a free subscription for six months. Other families who simply want to reduce the clutter in their houses and buy less plastic toys for their children to play with, can subscribe from £5 a month for £20 worth of toys. That ensures ‘abandoned’ toys can be re-used and the children always have something to play with.
“We are excited about using our new e-cargo bike and our funding from the National lottery. Having the bike means we will be able to collect donations of good quality toys and ensure they go to homes that need them to help children develop and thrive.”