And finally… Businesses affected by tram works offered electric cargo bikes

The City of Edinburgh Council is to offer free electric cargo bikes to help city businesses during tram construction works.

And finally... Businesses affected by tram works offered electric cargo bikes

At least four bikes will be available in partnership with walking and cycling charity Sustrans, while more could be brought in to meet demand.

It is hoped the bikes can be used to service deliveries to customers and move goods around as well as potentially working as part of freight hubs that could in future be set up in the outskirts of the city.

Transport and environment convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes said: “I was quite keen to get these in place around the Leith Walk construction works.

“It would alleviate some pressure on the traders that we recognise could happen on Leith Walk during the construction.

“In some ways, it’s a grown-up version of the bike messenger concept. It’s about getting things to places – sustainably, easily and more quickly by cutting through traffic. The major benefit is no emissions.”

Stuart Hay, from Living Streets Scotland, said: “Substituting vans for bikes offers positive benefits for pedestrians in terms of traffic noise, emissions and pavement parking.

“Trialling a cargo bike scheme during the tram construction offers a good opportunity to test new approaches to streets management that meets the needs of businesses and the environment. There is strong economic evidence that a good pedestrian environment with high public transport accessibility is good for business.

“Innovative support measures during construction are important in sustaining the street until it’s transformed.”

Any business wishing to use the cargo bikes will need to attend a training session. The bikes will need to be booked in advance for a maximum of one hour.

Cllr Macinnes added: “Anything that helps us get rid of vans double parking or pavement parking or stopping where they shouldn’t be, would help us enormously as a city – it would help us reduce congestion and pollution. If it can become a thing in Edinburgh, it can become a very positive thing for the city. The Leith Walk version of this through the trader scheme will be an excellent entry point for this. Other businesses in other areas will see it in operation so it’s a very good example.”

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