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Fleets and local authorities score share of £2m e-cargo bike grant fund

Local authorities and fleets in England are to roll out a raft of e-cargo bike initiatives with the help of new government funding.

The grants will be used to purchase a total of 273 e-cargo bikes and nine e-cargo bike trailers for councils along with 409 e-cargo bikes for organisations in England

Opened on 1 April 2019, the grant was open until 27 March 2020 and offered up to £200,000 each to local authorities while limited companies and organisations could apply for up to 20% grant funding towards e-cargo bikes.

Energy Saving Trust, which has been administering the scheme for the Department for Transport, has now revealed that 18 local authorities have secured funding out of a total of 58 applications. The projects will purchase a total of 273 e-cargo bikes and nine e-cargo bike trailers. This includes Cambridgeshire County Council, which plans to deploy 30 e-cargo bikes across four initiatives in the city. These will cover first-mile deliveries, a residential sharing scheme, a ‘try before you buy’ leasing scheme and pool e-cargo bikes with a combined aim of reducing travel emissions and encouraging active and sustainable transport options.

Devon County Council has also received a share of the funding. Its work will encourage the uptake of e-cargo bikes across partner organisations to support sustainable active business travel as an alternative to car and van use. A total of 13 ecargo bikes will be used to support Exeter’s ambition for net zero service, with two of the total used by the local hospital’s adult and social care teams to help care for the most isolated people in the city.

A total of 146 organisations have also received grant-funding, which will be used to provide 409 e-cargo bikes.

Tim Anderson, head of transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “E-cargo bikes are an attractive low carbon transport solution that are becoming more widely adopted. They offer significant benefits, most impressively fuel cost savings and contributing to improved local air quality which are particularly attractive as we work towards a green recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak. With more deliveries to our homes than ever, last mile delivery is an important area for consideration in our journey to reduce transport emissions to net zero by 2050. We expect the eCargo Bike Grant Fund to support wider and longer term uptake of these light vehicles.”

The full list of 18 local authority recipients is as follows:

Number of e-cargo bikes Number of trailers
Bath and North East Somerset Council 10 0
Bedford Borough Council 6 1
Birmingham City Council 20 0
Brighton and Hove City Council 12 1
Cambridgeshire County Council 30 0
Colchester Borough Council 25 5
Derby City Council 8 0
Devon County Council 13 0
Harlow and Gilston Garden Town 4 0
London Borough of Richmond 14 0
London Borough of Wandsworth 12 0
Milton Keynes Council 21 0
North Tyneside Council 10 0
Nottingham City Council 15 0
Plymouth City Council 26 0
Sheffield City Council 32 0
Southampton City Council 10 0
Wirral Council 5 2
Totals: 273 9


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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.