Laura Laker December 15 2016
An East London council could be the first in the UK to offer residents free delivery of their Christmas shopping by cargo bike or electric van – if they’ve bought from local shops.
Waltham Forest Council’s Christmas Courier scheme, paid for by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, is designed to reduce the number of polluting Christmas delivery vehicles on the streets, and if it’s a success, the council hopes to keep the scheme long-term, and make it a profitable business.
So far Christmas Courier, with its fleet of cargo bikes and one hybrid Renault Kangoo van, has made almost 300 parcels in 200 deliveries from around 19 local businesses in just three days, including 400kg of vegetables from a local vegetable box scheme yesterday alone.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve air quality and reduce the number of short journeys made by motor vehicles, and the Christmas Courier scheme is a great example of this.
“So whether you’re buying food and drink or gifts for loved ones, why not take advantage of the scheme and get it delivered free of charge? We will use the results of the trial in Walthamstow to develop our plans for a borough-wide zero emission courier service in 2017.”
A council spokesperson told road.cc: “We want it to be the best delivery service in this part of East London – that just happens to be human and electric-powered.
“We are also offering people who are laden down with shopping the opportunity to drop their stuff off at the market, and we will take it home for them.”
A number of local delis, wine shops, florists and a coffee roaster are signed up to the scheme.