A moveable feast for businesses in Brentford
Various organisations are joining forces to help launch an innovative project that hopes to increase the number of Brentford businesses using cargo bikes to deliver their goods and services. The project, Brentford Bikes, will make available three Christiania cargo bikes for a three month period during a pilot phase; these can be used by local businesses free of charge.
The bikes will also be used to help deliver arts and cultural events throughout the borough. Cargo bikes have been popular in the Netherlands and Denmark for some time, and they are now starting to become more common on streets here in the UK.
In congested towns and cities they are often the best way of transporting things and more and more people now see them as a viable alternative to running a car. The bikes are being funded by CTC, the national cycling charity, as part of a wider European project called CycleLogisitics, which aims get more goods and services delivered by bike. The bikes are being supplied by London Green Cycles.
"The project will give businesses an idea of what it’s like to own and use a cargo bike with no actual cost to the business itself." Gavin Wood, CTC
Gavin Wood, CTC’s Cycling Development Officer, said: - the hope is that they really see the value added by the bike and go on to buy their own."
He added: "I’m excited by the potential to use this project as a case study for the CycleLogistics project, and to use this to support and motivate similar projects. What we really need now are lots of local businesses to step forward and start using the bikes."
The first orientation workshop took place at The Butts on Friday 2 August, and several local businesses spent a couple of hours to trying out the bikes and finding out about the project and how they can get involved. Several local companies have already pledged their support such as: the Brentford High Street Market Group, Cultivate London, Johnston’s Island Artists, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
London Bike Hub will maintain and administer the booking system and also provide safe storage for the bikes. The project has also received the backing of Hounslow Council’s Cycling Officer. Any businesses wishing to use the bikes should email email@example.com.
The project has received an enthusiastic response from partners to date and has the intention of extending the use of cargo bikes after the completion of the pilot. Looking to incentivise businesses to purchase their own bikes, Brentford Bikes will also secure a ‘triplet’ of bikes to be stocked with locally produced goods and services and offer the best of Brentford’s arts and culture.
A major employer in the Golden Mile area, GSK has welcomed the idea of the three bikes arriving together on-site as a way of strengthening connections with the local area, promoting the use of cycling to staff whilst sitting back and enjoying the best of Brentford’s food and culture.
"The cargo bikes can open up new ways of delivering business services. They are the perfect vehicle for use along Brentford’s canalside and its range of public spaces." Sue Ball, Brentford Bikes
Brentford Bikes's organiser Sue Ball is looking to the future of Brentford. She says: "The cargo bikes can open up new ways of delivering business services. They are the perfect vehicle for use along Brentford’s canalside and its range of public spaces. As the new Market Square on the High Street will be a hub for bikes, with plenty of cycling amenities, this scheme is perfectly timed’.
Brentford Bikes is an initiative developed in collaboration between the arts organisations, MAAP and The Decorators, working in partnership with The CycleLogistics Project, London Bike Hub and London Green Cycles.