eCargo bikes -  taken prior to national lockdown Image Bedford Borough Council

eCargo bikes are electric bikes that can be used to transport bulky items

Following a successful funding bid to the Department for Transport, Bedford Borough Council has purchased six eCargo bikes which, the Council said, will help it to work in a greener way.

eCargo bikes are electric bikes that have two or three wheels and a container for carrying items. They can be used to transport bulky items and the Council said that this is in a cleaner and greener way when compared to traditional transport.

Four of these bikes will become part of the Council’s vehicle fleet, within the Sustainable Transport Team and their work with schools and at events, within the Street Cleansing Team, and at Harrold-Odell Country Park for park maintenance.

One each have also been loaned to the University of Bedfordshire and Flamme Rouge Cycles.

The Council said these bikes will allow it to reduce its carbon emissions, and so help improve air quality in the Borough. In leading by example, the Council hopes that other local organisations and businesses will be encouraged to explore low carbon transport.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said:

“Bedford Borough Council has consistently led the way on going green, becoming more energy efficient, and reducing our carbon emissions.

“These bikes will help our teams to operate in an eco-friendly way, and hopefully encourage others to do the same.”

Tim Anderson, head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, said:

“The Department for Transport eCargo Bike Grant Fund attracted a significant number of applications. The 18 local authorities who have successfully secured funding will purchase a total of 273 eCargo bikes and nine eCargo bike trailers, enabling more businesses to benefit from access.

“eCargo bikes are an attractive low carbon transport solution which offer important benefits, most impressively fuel cost savings and contributing to improved local air quality. Last mile delivery is an important area for consideration in our journey to reduce transport emissions to net zero by 2050.”

The eCargo Bike Grant Fund scheme is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Energy Saving Trust. The bikes were purchased following the award of £27,838 from Department of Transport to Bedford Borough Council.