23 May 2021
By Elaine Murphy
City businesses and community groups will be offered the opportunity to avail of a fleet of cargo bikes after Cork City Council was one of 20 projects to receive funding from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Public Service Innovation Fund.
The cargo bike library project is aimed at encouraging active travel, especially in the retail and business sector but also at increasing the use of cargo bikes in the wider private sector and public sector.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh said: “Cork City Council is focussed on creating a city of sustainable urban growth and therefore wants to encourage sustainable travel, not only amongst residents and visitors to the city but also amongst the business sector – and there is huge opportunity for cargo bikes in retail delivery”.
Under the scheme, it’s planned that suitable business and community groups will be offered a cargo bike for six months on a trial basis to see if they could use a cargo bike on a daily basis as an alternative to less sustainable means of transport.
Frank Fitzgerald, Sustainable Travel Awareness Officer in Cork City Council’s Sports and Sustainability section, said: ” Across Europe, it is estimated that 50% of all motorised trips that involve the transport of goods in cities could be shifted to cargo bikes and bicycles. The diversity of cargo bikes is astonishing. Cargo bikes take many different shapes and forms. Besides the cyclist, they can carry goods and people of up to 250 kg and can even be coupled with a trailer for extra capacity”.
Cork Cycling Campaign has warmly received the news that Cork City Council are supporting businesses and community groups to make the leap towards using cargo-bikes for deliveries and trips in the city.
Chairperson Conn O’Donovan said: “Cargo-bikes are a great way to allow people to use bikes who many need to carry, deliver, collect, or drop off goods or bulky items. Cork City centre is a compact, low-lying area and we would be hopeful that business, community groups, social enterprises and other groups would see the many benefits of using these bikes such as lower transport costs, free parking, ease of use, and green transport.”
It’s expected that the cargo bike library will be in place by the end of this year following procurement of the fleet.