Manchester Bike Hire has unveiled their fleet of 18 electric cargo bikes to the people of Salford.
The bikes will be available to local businesses to deliver goods in an affordable and eco-friendly way.
Pavel Gajdoš, the co-directors of Manchester Bike Hire, introduced the people of Salford to the bikes on Chapel Street.
He said: “Local businesses can hire these out for just a single day and see if they work for them, or they can hire them out for a longer time at a cheaper price.”
Manchester Bike Hire manages the cargo bikes for the council. As of Wednesday, they have begun renting them out for £12 per day. This price also includes insurance and any repairs needed.
As well as renting out the bikes, the council has also loaned out bikes to various organisations and individuals. Salford University and Salford Royal Hospital have been gifted bikes to help with deliveries.
One of the organisations being given a bike is That Toy Thing, a social enterprise which provides support for parents . It recently received funding from the National Lottery to provide 100 families with free toys, and will be using their new cargo bike to help deliver them.
The founder and managing director of That Toy Thing, Kim Bond, said: “This will make it so much easier to do deliveries. We usually have to rely on cars but now we can cycle, and look cool doing it!”
Another local business being gifted with a bike is The Deli Lama, a wholefood shop and café. With their new bike, The Deli Lama hopes to expand their business to include delivering groceries.
Co-Owner Linda Robinson said: “It’s going to be a massive asset for our business – We’re really excited to make our products available to the wider community.
“We’ve borrowed bikes from Manchester Bike Hire before, and they approached us asking if we would like one of the bikes long term. We never would have been able to afford this so it’s just great that we’ve got one.”
Salford Mayor Paul Dennett also voiced his support for the scheme, saying: ““We’ve seen a huge increase in cycling during the pandemic and we’re all familiar with take away and courier cyclists whizzing around the city.
“The more vans and cars we can replace with them the better for easing congestion and helping to tackle climate change.”
Riders must complete their level three bike ability training if they want to hire out a bike. Transport for Greater Manchester has recently begun offering this training for free.
Co-Director of Manchester Bike Hire, Chris Leakey, has been working for the last two years on the scheme. He hopes to make the cargo bikes available for as many businesses as possible.
He said: “We know the bike isn’t going to be perfect for every business. Sometimes you need a van, but when it is viable it’s a much cheaper and cleaner solution.
“We really want businesses to try it out and see if it works for them. That’s why we let businesses rent them out for just a day if they want. If they like it, we can rent them out for longer periods or even advise them if they want to buy their own.”
Salford’s electric cargo bikes from Manchester Bike Hire on Chapel Street, or online here.