Woolly Saddle Cargo Bike Project

An E-Cargo bike trial for Kendal, 5-30 September 2022

The need to reduce carbon use-age is urgent, and with fuel prices soaring, cargo bikes are fast becoming the next best thing since sliced bread! Collaborating with the Waste into Wellbeing team, we’ve been researching alternative ways to carry out collections and deliveries without making the most polluting kinds of short car and van journeys.

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 will be using an E-cargo bike that will happily allow 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 are proving to be perfectly suitable replacements for vans.

Some early studies are showing that customers are willing to pay a little extra for a green service, and businesses are reporting the many wellbeing benefits to their paid riders, and to their local community.

Find out more about the benefits for business on the Raleigh website here.

What’s happening?

With a team of volunteer riders, we are loaning a ‘Stride 2’ E-cargo bike from 5 – 30 September 2022 from Raleigh.

The project is being supported by a £500 grant from Kendal Town Council to match the fund provided by SLACC. This will contribute towards rider training and an awareness campaign. The activity is being coordinated by enthusiastic volunteers who love cycling and who are keen to promote all the benefits of getting around on 2 or 3 wheels.

Business deliveries and collections

We’ll carry out some trial collection and deliveries for the Waste into Wellbeing project but are keen to involve others. We’d like to ‘max out’ on the use of the bike by engaging a few businesses to join us in the trial. 

‘Try out’ and Awareness events

We aim to take the bike to community events to raise awareness of E-Cargo bikes and arrange a ‘try out’ session with Raleigh at the Torchlight Festival (watch this space!). By the end of the trial, we will have a group of trained E-Cargo bike riders who may then be available for future activity or will be inspired to get their own.

What’s the purpose of the trial?

One cargo bike won’t change the world, but…..

We hope the trial will lead to a zero-emission waste food collection and delivery service for Waste into Wellbeing, and that businesses and individuals will use E-cargo bikes as a viable replacement to car and van journeys helping to reduce emissions and ease congestion in the town.

We’ve been chatting to existing cargo bike businesses and social enterprises around the UK and discovered the many different kinds of schemes to provide active travel and green delivery solutions. This trial will help us understand:

  • the level of business and customer demand for E-Cargo bike delivery services in and around Kendal
  • the level of interest in the community for uses other than commercial delivery (transporting kids to school or for charities for example)
  • which business models or schemes might work for Kendal
  • other creative ideas that will lead to a valuable community service unique to Kendal that could potentially be adapted and replicated elsewhere.

How can my business get involved?

To take part in the trial, we can offer (subject to discussion and confirmation):

  • A trained volunteer rider to run some errands for your business, planned in advance.
  • To train one of your employees to ride the bike for your business who could then contribute to project ‘riding’ activity (covered by the project insurance) . There may be an ask for a financial contribution to this depending on numbers.
  • Your business could have the bike for a few days and your employees could ride the bike on your business insurance and employee liability. We may be able to provide training depending on numbers.
  • You can participate without using the bike at all but help us by asking your customer base if they are interested in such a service, and what they might be prepared to pay for it.
  • If you are REALLY keen, you could loan your own bike for your business at your convenience – we are happy to pass on contacts and advice if you require it. 

In return, we ask that you:

  • Give us feedback and insight into how the trial worked for you (a short survey or questionnaire)
  • Share, tweet, post on your social channels. Let’s inspire people to get cycling and think about how they might use an E-cargo bike. Use hashtags: #woollysaddlecargo, #bikesforbusiness, #kendalbikesforbusiness #cargobikesrock, #decadeofthecargobike (there are lots more!)

Interested? Email us at sltransition@gmail.com

How can I volunteer for the project?

There are a few roles and tasks such as communications, logistics, training coordinator, event support or being a rider. We try to meet fairly regularly in the pub…

Get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. Email Jo at sltransition@gmail.com

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

Email us at sltransition@gmail.com