Oxford businesses trial free electric cargo bike deliveries

The trial forms part of a 12-week scheme orchestrated by Oxford City Council and Velocity Cycle Couriers, with a goal to reduce carbon emissions and support the transition to a zero carbon economy.

Over the 12 weeks, Velocity’s couriers will offer same-day and next-day zero emission deliveries inside the ring road.

Oxford Mail: The project will be reviewed when it finishes at the end of MayThe project will be reviewed when it finishes at the end of May (Image: Oxford City Council)

The trial will see participating businesses including Oxford Cheese Company, Truck Oxford, and Y.O.U. Underwear explore an alternative to pollutant-heavy vehicle deliveries.

Transport accounts for 68 per cent of nitrogen oxide emissions in Oxford, making it the largest single contributor.

Councillor Anna Railton, cabinet member for zero carbon Oxford and climate justice said: “We know that businesses are keen to explore alternative ways to make deliveries to their customers.

“This exciting partnership not only encourages businesses to transition from car-based deliveries, but it also gives some businesses the chance to make deliveries for the first time.

“I am looking forward to seeing how this trial works out for our fantastic independent businesses.”

This collaboration is an extension of a 2021 trial that saw Covered Market businesses experimenting with two electric cargo bikes.

The council is subsidising the cost of deliveries made using the electric bikes.

Jake Swinhoe, director at Velocity Cycle Couriers, said: “Working with the fabulous independent businesses in Oxford and finding sustainable solutions to their urban delivery challenges lies at the very heart of Velocity’s courier services.

“Partnering with Oxford City Council is a great opportunity to allow business owners to find out how e-cargo bike deliveries can work for them.”

Small businesses around the city have expressed their support for the initiative, such as Sarah Jordan, CEO and founder of Y.O.U Underwear.

She said: “This partnership is an excellent opportunity for our business.

“It will really help us to reduce our carbon footprint and give us a much easier way to make deliveries to customers within the ring road.”

Carl Smithson, store manager at Truck Oxford, added: “It is great that we are now able to offer an environmentally friendly local courier delivery service for customers within the ring road.

“If a customer hears a song on the radio, if we have the album in stock they can order it through our online shop for next day or even same day delivery using this service.”

Businesses interested in taking part in the partnership can contact Velocity at hello@velocitycc.co.uk or by calling 01865 249 854. 

The initiative will be evaluated once it finishes at the end of May.

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