We have all experienced dramatic changes to the way we travel around Brighton and Hove in the past few months.
People are cycling and walking more and, due to massive changes to the way we live since lockdown, the number of cars on our roads has fallen significantly.
In normal times, travel and transport contribute significantly to some of the greatest health and environmental challenges facing our city.
For that reason, I am delighted with a new council-led initiative for electric cargo bikes that will help some of the city’s small businesses make the shift to cleaner, greener transport.
Brighton and Hove has been awarded a grant worth more than £85,000 for 12 eCargo bikes by the Department for Transport.
Our council is one of 18 to receive funds from the Energy Saving Trust and is contributing an extra £17,000 towards additional equipment and resources.
Residents will soon see more of these eCargo bikes on our streets as they start to replace delivery vans and lorries.
Of the 12 being purchased, one will be given to the council’s postal team while another will go to Cityparks, which manages many of our outdoor spaces.
I would also like to thank the six trailblazing companies involved – courier company Zedify, Gunns Florist, Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-op, Real Patisserie, Brighton Gin and Mittens Plumbing, Heating and Bathroom Design.
The good news is that you don’t have to be particularly athletic to use an eCargo bike, even up the city’s steepest hills.
An electrically assisted motor helps you pedal while a range of 40km to 60km is possible on a single battery charge.
Importantly, eCargo bikes can help keep large vehicles out of the city centre and residential streets.
Apart from the health and environmental benefits, another plus of decreasing the number of larger vehicles on our thoroughfares is that it will reduce damage to roads and the cost of repairing them.
Looking at the big picture, sustainable transport initiatives are a big win for our city.
They move us closer towards our commitment to become a carbon neutral city by 2030 and are critical to meeting our public health goals.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.
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