West Berkshire Council has supported several initiatives to support the use of cargo bikes. Two local businesses that have benefited from this support are Thatcham Refillable and DeeCaf in Tilehurst.
Jenny and Tom have recently won the Newbury Weekly News Best Green Business 2023 award and were also West Berkshire’s Business of 2022/23 runners up.
“At Thatcham Refillable we were very grateful to be supported by West Berkshire Council who provided us with a grant to buy an electric cargo bike.
“We purchased the bike in November 2022 and since then we have used it for everything from regularly delivering to our local customers, for collecting stock deliveries and donated bottles and for even doing our weekly food shopping.
“Neither of us had been on a bike for 10 years and now we use the cargo bike most days, certainly several times a week. It’s totally changed our habits and choices.
“We prefer using it to the car as it is often faster on the bike than taking the car, which surprised us. We even sold one of our cars as we now don’t need two cars as we have the bike. The only thing that occasionally stops us is the weather!”
Tina of the wonderful DeeCaf in Tilehurst describes how they plan to use the eCargo bike they have recently taken on loan from West Berkshire Council.
“Our most recent madness and mayhem! @westberkshire have generously lent us this ginormous bike so we can use it for our business instead of the car. We desperately want to make our roads in Tilehurst safer and less polluted…
“We’ll start with this! It’s a beast! But eventually I’ll be able to move the foodbank food in it, the stock and other goodies. In the meantime, if you see me cycling, please give me space (I’m a bit wobbly and it’s very heavy), and refrain from beeping (this scares the living daylights out of me!).
“Kat and her crew from @kidicalmassrdg and @velospeedbikes have been helping me get the bike and ride it…
“Check out the amazing mass bike rides around Reading, even beginners like me can join in. The cycling community are so kind and welcoming. Go along to the bike rides. Big love!”
West Berkshire Council has three eCargo bikes, two XL models and one L model, that they are offering to local businesses as part of a new environment scheme.
DeeCaf in Tilehurst have an XL model. The L model is out on trial with a woman who runs a business providing music lessons in percussion to pre-school age children in the wider Newbury area. She is a keen cyclist who previously carried her instruments in a backpack but can now travel with them all in the cargo hold of the eCargo bike. One XL model is not yet allocated, but may be going out to an exhibition and events company to trial.
Details of the West Berkshire Council eCargo bike scheme for local businesses can be found here: WBC ECargo bikes.
WBC Campaigner for RCC