An e-cargo bike sharing scheme has been launched in Westminster as part of a wider £35 million investment in travel across the city.
The new scheme, a joint venture between the council and operator Beryl, has been rolled out in four locations and costs jut 10p a minute in addition to a £1.50 unlocking fee.
E cargo bikes can now be picked up on Harrow Road opposite Westminster Academy and outside Sainsbury’s Local Maida Hill, on Church Street near Kennet House residential tower block, and on Warwick Way outside Holland and Barrett.
Phil Ellis, the CEO and co-founder of Beryl said the agreement to trial e-cargo bikes in Westminster had come after a successful pilot in Hackney.
He said: “We know from running an e-cargo bike hire pilot scheme in Hackney that our e-cargo bikes can be incredibly useful to many people, from businesses and tradesmen to families and individuals.
“They’re not only fun and sustainable, they have a wide range of uses and are a great way to avoid being sat in endless traffic queues while boosting your mental and physical health.
“The vehicles are also extremely convenient and cost-effective when compared to private vehicle ownership, removing the burden of storage as well as the cost of fuel, tax, maintenance, MOT and insurance.”
He added: “I’d urge people to give them a try and help make Westminster an even cleaner and safer place to live and work in.”
E-cargo bike hire is part of a raft of transport changes that the nearly one year old Labour led council is looking to bring in, having also pledged five new school streets and 400 more cycle stands every year – all steps taking Westminster towards being a Net Zero city by 2040.
Among other measures to prioritise cycling are 15km of new or upgraded cycleways by March 2024 and new TfL cycle hire sites in Maida Hill and Westbourne Green.
Pedestrian improvements are also in the pipeline, including 100 additional dropped kerbs designed for buggies and wheelchairs and £2 million towards pavement renewals.
The council is also looking to redesign several ‘pinch points’ or dangerous junctions including crossroads on Drury Lane and on Bishop’s Bridge Road.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, the Cabinet Member for City Planning said: “This considerable budget allocation towards active travel and sustainable transport shows how committed we are to making the city a safer and more pleasant place to walk and cycle, and to tackle key pinch points for London’s vital bus network.
“Improvements to walking safety, cycling connections and public transport priority schemes are vital if we are to improve air quality. The launch of these new e-cargo bikes in partnership with Beryl is one of the innovative ways the council is providing residents and businesses a good, sustainable alternative to cars and vans so we can create a fairer Westminster for everyone to live in and enjoy.”