Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh trams: Electric cargo bikes to help firms during construction work

Electric cargo bike Image copyright John Linton

Free electric cargo bikes are to be offered to Leith Walk businesses to help traders with goods weave in and out of traffic during Edinburgh tram construction work.

It is one of a range of measures to help firms through the tram extension work, which start in December.

At least four of electric bikes will be available, while more could be brought in to meet demand.

The bikes can be used for deliveries to customers and to move goods around.

Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council's transport and environment convener, 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.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The construction of the existing tram route was completed in 2013

"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."

Following the Leith Walk trial, electric cargo bikes could become one of the innovations needed to help Edinburgh meet its target to become carbon neutral by 2030.

All training for cargo bikes will be free with Sustrans.

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."

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