Community Support delivered by eCargo bike

About the department:

  • Engages people who live and work across the city
  • Leads on third sector policy and development
  • Coordinates city wide neighbourhood support
  • Leads on community engagement

 

e-Cargo bike loaded with grocery bags of food. Three members of the Community Support team stand behind it reading a list.

Original operations 

When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the nation, our team was charged with helping to ensure food supply to our most vulnerable residents by setting up a weekly food delivery service. We had not done this before and needed to start from scratch.

Action

We needed a quick and effective means of transport which worked for the narrow streets and traffic restricted areas of the city centre – a zero emission cargo bike seemed the obvious solution and the eCargo Bike Accelerator Project team helped us identify a suitable machine which we then purchased through a local retailer.

The flexibility of our e-cargo bike to reach our city centre residents and deliver fresh food throughout the pandemic has added so much to our service and it would be hard to see how we could have managed without it.

eCargo bike specification 

Mid Sussex electrical chose the Riese & Müller Packster, which features:

  • rear rack to  increase carrying capacity
  • removal tarpaulin to keep produce dry
  • front suspension to keep ride smooth
  • dual battery option to extend range to cover the team's longest rides

Outcome

Our food delivery service has been running for nearly a year now with our e-cargo bike supporting deliveries on a weekly basis:

  • With the ecargo bike, we can deliver literally to the door, we don’t waste time looking for parking or needing to carry packages long distances
  • Air pollution increases vulnerability to Covid-19, making our zero-emission deliveries even more important
  • In Central Brighton, being able to use the cycle lanes is a huge advantage

As and when things return to a more normal footing and we are able to scale down our emergency delivery services, we plan to use the e-cargo bike as an environmentally- friendly tool to support community events across our housing estates.

We have had a lot of interest from community and residents groups across the city and also plan to let other groups use the bike to support their activities.