Woolly Saddle Cargo Project – An E-cargo bike trial in Kendal

  • Volunteers Erin and Rod collecting waste food from Sainsburys
  • Volunteer Rod taking the bike for its weekly service to Mapdec
  • National Trust Ranger Sam and Director General Hilary trying the cargo bike at Sizergh Castle

What is a cargo bike?

Cargo bikes come in all shapes and sizes but essentially they are bikes that can carry a lot of stuff, and in some cases people. They can have two or three wheels, they can have big boxes at the front or back, and some even look like miniature vans. For the Kendal trial, we used an E-cargo bike that allowed riders to shift loads uphill of up to 100kg with a charge lasting 30-40 miles. 

Cargo bike delivery businesses and social enterprises in urban and rural areas have sprung up in the last couple of years across the country in response to the pandemic, and their bikes are proving to be perfectly suitable replacements for vans, helping to cut emissions, reduce congestion and providing efficient, green logistics solutions. Find out more about the benefits for business on the Raleigh website here.

We concluded a 5-week cargo bike trial in Kendal in October 2022 and are pleased to share some of the findings below.

Report headlines

What happened during the trial?

In partnership with Kendal Town Council, we loaned an E-cargo bike from Raleigh, free of charge for a trial period of 5 weeks.

The project was made possible thanks to 13 amazing volunteers and a £500 grant from Kendal Town Council to match the fund provided by SLACC. The largest cost was cargo bike level 3 Bikeability training for 12 riders in order to comply with the terms of insurance.

Business deliveries and collections

We carried out some trial collection and deliveries for the Waste into Wellbeing project and engaged a few businesses to join us in the trial. We made courtesy calls to businesses around town and received an enthusiastic response from businesses such as Farrers and Absolute Printers. We also offered cropshare pick-ups for Growing Well customers.

Awareness events

We attended community events including the Torchlight Festival, Great Big Green Event and Staveley Community E-Bike Launch to raise awareness of E-Cargo bikes. 

What next?

You can read the full report below and we will be updating this page as the project progresses. There will be more opportunities to get involved, so please do get in touch if you are interested to volunteer in 2023.

Email us at sltransition@gmail.com

Download the full report

2024 update. What next?

  • Based on the experiences and recommendations from the 2022 trial, some project scoping work is taking place to develop further testing and trial opportunities.
  • Currently, we are searching for bike storage space for a potential bike library with research on associated costs and resources required.
  • We’re creating a plan to engage potential users of the bikes and trial activity through the volunteers.
  • We’re re-establishing contact with the key businesses and partners involved with the cargo bike trial to gather further insight.
  • We’re working with partners to identify potential sources of funding.
  • By May 2024, we hope to have found some assessed options to provide us with enough detail to apply for funds to make things happen.

Case studies and useful links

Cargodale CIC – Zero emission delivery in Calderdale

Cargo Bike Movement – Scotland’s first dedicated cargo bike hub

Farr Out Deliveries – Award-winning zero emission logistics business in Edinburgh

Cycling UK – how cargo bikes are changing the logistics industry

Islabikes Cargo bike deliveries trial

Interview with MP Smarter Travel – Getting started with bikes for business