Who are behind the scheme?
They are Kevin from Southsea Cycles, Jenni from Sustrans and Nick from Portsmouth Climate Action Board and this is their ask for support:
” What’s the plan?
To set up a Community E-cargo bike Hire Scheme!
We love cargo bikes and want to give people the opportunity to try them out and experience their benefits.
We intend to do this by raising the money to buy an electric cargo bike that will then be available to hire very cheaply for members of the community.
How much will hire cost?
We want to make it affordable for people on low incomes:
£2 for two hours, £4 for half a day and £9 for a whole day, for members and Leisure Card holders.
Membership will also be kept very cheap: £10 for three months, £20 for six months or £40 for a year.
This is a not-for-profit scheme and any money left over after maintenance, insurance and admin costs will go towards buying another bike: we eventually want to put one in every community centre in Portsmouth.
Where will our community e-bike be located?
Our first bike will be stored at Southsea Cycles on Albert Road, and available for hire by simply phoning, emailing or popping into the shop. if you cycle to see us, we can store your bike, whilst you have our e-cargo bike out to hire.
What can e-cargo bikes be used for?
Families use them to take their kids to school and the beach, their pets to the vets, do big weekly shops, move stuff, help with foodbank deliveries etc
Many of the families locally who have an e-cargo bike, told us they sold their second car to buy it, and love the cost savings, and less hassle sitting in traffic and parking.
Tradespeople and self-employed work
Increasingly plumbers, electricians etc in crowded city centres are finding it quicker, easier and cheaper to get about with an e-cargo bike, rather than a van. We want to start that trend here in Portsmouth.
Locally businesses such as Wild Thyme Food Coop, CycleWorks, Package Free Larder, UK Flyers and others got a grant from Portsmouth City Council to purchase an e-cargo bike. Many firms are now turning to these bikes for last and first mile deliveries, as the evidence stacks up that they can drop off more parcels per hour than vans, and avoid all the issues with parking and congestion.
Helping OAPS and those with mobility issues
In many countries, e-cargo bikes are used like a rickshaw to help those with mobility issues to get out and about. Locally the charity Cycling Without Age takes OAPs out on rides for free to combat social and economic isolation. One resident Roger Knight has adapted his bike to take his mum and dad out for rides.
Why else are cargo bikes great?
They free up road space and parking space
The number of vehicles registered to Portsmouth addresses rises by about 2000 every year, but there is no space to increase the width or number of roads. This means journey times and congestion gets worse every year.
E-cargo bikes can use bike lanes and thus ease congestion. They can also be parked on pavements.
They reduce air pollution
We have an air pollution crisis in Portsmouth: with many roads over the legal limit. The government has now imposed a Clean Air Zone and charges on polluting vehicles.
They reduce carbon emissions
We are also in a Climate Emergency: locally carbon emissions from road transport have barely declined in the last decade.
E-cargo bikes reduce carbon emissions by 90% compared to diesel vans.
What’s the long term vision?
Ultimately we want to persuade residents with second cars to sell them and purchase a cargo bike instead.
We also recognise that many people live in flats and won’t be able to store a bike, and so we want to offer very cheap hire of such bikes from community centres all around the city. Instead of doing your weekly shop in a car or taxi: we want folk to try using an electric cargo bike: it will work out cheaper than driving, with none of the hassles of parking.”
To donate, click below https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/community-e-cargo-bike-hire-scheme