Latest News | 8 June 2021

Firms urged to adopt pedal power with eCargo bikes scheme

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A scheme which urges firms to swap commercial vehicles for pedal power is starting to gain momentum.

Cycle Derby’s eCargo bike try-before-you-buy scheme is now in full swing – and half the bikes are already in use across the city.

After a successful bid to the eCargo Bike Grant Fund, delivered by the Energy Saving Trust, Cycle Derby received £41,824 for eight electric cargo bikes, which arrived in September.

The vision was to create a scheme to loan them for free to local businesses on a try-before-you-buy basis, with the aim of encouraging the exploration of greener and more sustainable methods of transporting goods and services around the city centre.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader and cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transportation at Derby City Council, said: “After the challenges of launching the scheme during the pandemic I’m delighted to see these bikes are now out on the streets and making a real difference to local businesses and to the city.

“I am hopeful that these trials will convert into a whole fleet of bikes riding around the city in the months and years to come.”

The first business to sign up to take part in the scheme was Martin Broer’s Boiler Service Co, who heard about eCargo bikes via Cycle Derby’s social media channels.

The scheme inspired him to fulfil his ambition to ditch his diesel van in favour of an eco-friendlier way of working.

He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic really helped me to reassess what was important.

“At the start of lockdown there was very little traffic on the road and I realised that I was taking a lot more pleasure in my work as I was not sitting in traffic for the majority of my day.

“As soon as the kids returned to school, however, I would travel between jobs in the city at an average of 14 mph and I then realised what a huge toll it had been taking on my mental health.”

After conducting some of his own research into other options, Mr Broer came across eCargo bikes, used commonly by tradesman across Europe.

He said: “Although I loved the idea of using an eCargo bike for my business, I was concerned about the financial investment – what if I spent all this money on a bike that didn’t end up working for my business?

“It was then I came across Cycle Derby’s fantastic try-before-you-buy scheme, allowing businesses like my own trial an eCargo bike for free for up to six months. I signed up immediately.

“The benefits to both my physical and mental health are undeniable – having the freedom to get out on my bike makes me feel more connected to the outside world around me.”

Cycle Derby delivered the on-road training, assisted by partner Sustrans who worked closely to advise on other opportunities that might be available to support businesses like Mr Broer’s.

Councillor Holmes said: “We’re a city of innovative transport engineering and are focused on solutions that tackle climate change, poor air quality and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of our residents and workers.

“eCargo bikes offer an excellent cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to moving freight around.”

Under the scheme, businesses are loaned the bikes for up to six months, free of charge.

Businesses interested in trialling them are urged to register their interest with Cycle Derby’s Mark Smith by e-mailing

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