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Four electric cargo bikes to aid carbon reduction in Inverness

By Louise Glen

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E-cargo bikes are being purchased by HiTrans for the Highlands.
E-cargo bikes are being purchased by HiTrans for the Highlands.

Transport partnership HiTrans are planning to buy four electric cargo bikes to shift city centre deliveries away from vans and cars.

The estimated £25,000 contract will see 'e-cargo' bikes provided by HiTrans as a pilot project.

The bikes will be kept across the city and will be available for hire for between one and three months by local businesses – providing a low carbon alternative for deliveries.

HiTrans lodged a procurement notice on Public Contracts Scotland for a scheme in Inverness, as well as two more projects in Orkney and Oban.

The contract notice states: "HiTrans wish to commission a supplier to support an electric cargo bike scheme to be operated in Inverness.

"The aim of this is to introduce e-cargo bikes to local businesses in key local centres in order to promote a modal shift away from van/car deliveries towards a low carbon alternative."

It continued: "By providing e-cargo bikes to local businesses and community groups, HiTrans hopes to assist with meeting carbon emission reduction targets and analyse various use cases of e-cargo bikes in both rural and urban settings.

"Many businesses are increasingly keen to minimise their carbon emissions, and equally consumers are keen to support businesses that are local, smaller scale and conduct positive business practices.

"Also, in the current climate of Covid-19, an increasing number of businesses are offering delivery services. Our aim is to offer e-cargo bikes to businesses as a sustainable, physically distanced and economically productive alternative, and in so doing support members of the community by improving accessibility and availability of goods. "

Other opportunities identified for added community benefit as part of the project include a prescription delivery service, as this is not offered by the NHS, and so the housebound have difficulty in gaining prescriptions as well as the many, particularly more elderly residents that continue to shield at home.

The contract states that three two-wheel bikes are being sought and one three-wheel bike.

HiTrans expects the starting date to be March 16 2021, with a completion fate of February 28 2022.

The deadline for bids to provide the bikes is March 9.

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