CITY businesses and community groups will now be offered the opportunity to avail of a fleet of cargo bikes, thanks to funding from a public service innovation fund.
Cork City Council was one of 20 projects to receive funding from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform who are seeking to increase the use of cargo bikes in the wider private and public sector.
Suitable business and community groups will be offered a cargo bike for six months on a trial basis to assess their feasibility as a more sustainable transport option.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh welcomed the idea.
“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," he said. "There is huge opportunity for cargo bikes in retail delivery”.
Sustainable Travel Awareness Officer in Cork City Council’s Sports and Sustainability section Frank Fitzgerald, also praised the move.
“Across Europe, it is estimated that 50 per cent of all motorised trips that involve the transport of goods in cities could be shifted to cargo bikes and bicycles," he said. "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”.
It is expected that the so-called cargo bike library will be introduced by the end of this year following the procurement of a fleet.
Those involved with the Cork Cycling Campaign are encouraging as many people as possible to avail of the scheme.
Their chairperson, Conn O'Donovan is strongly encouraging the use of cargo bikes.
“Cargo-bikes are a great way to allow people to use bikes who may need to carry, deliver, collect, or drop off goods or bulky items," he said. "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."