Should Sidmouth have its own e-trike service?

A dual-purpose parcel and passenger carrier – both a pedi-cab and a goods vehicle.

By carrying people and goods, e-trikes can help the local economy to keep moving, can help people to shop and get about locally, and can help the high street to recover:

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Should Sidmouth have its own e-trike service?

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This idea came up during lockdown, when the VGS survey showed that:

Most Sidmouthians are clearly appreciating there being less traffic – with over 80% saying they “like less traffic”.

And half of both customers and shopkeepers said they would used a newly formed local delivery service if it continued after lockdown

Before and after lockdown in Sidmouth: questionnaire results – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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A specific proposal was put forward by a member of the VGS:

We could start an e-trike delivery service for town centre shops to use. If we could persuade the shops that it was better for them to send out deliveries by the trike service than by their petrol vehicles we would get people used to seeing trikes around.

If we could get such a project started, it could end up with e-trikes being ‘taxis’ bringing both locals and visitors into town, dropping them off and then collecting them when they were done. Many people would use a taxi service with electric trikes for just local journeys if we could get it competitive with bus fares.

E-trikes for Sidmouth – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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There are several possibilities out there…

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The Post Office is looking at e-trikes for deliveries:

Royal Mail e-Trikes to begin six-month trial

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Exeter’s Co-Delivery service is now well-established:

Electric cargo bike delivery service in Exeter | Co Delivery

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They have not only provided an essential service during lockdown, but have just received a grant:

Mark Hodgson, founder and MD of Co Cars & Bikes, commented: “During the Covid-19 crisis, our Co Delivery cargo bikes have helped support local, independent businesses by providing a zero emission delivery service around the city. We’re now seeing a huge increase in interest from other businesses wanting to explore how our eCargo bikes can help keep their goods and services moving around our city whilst helping achieve Exeter’s net zero Carbon target. This very welcome announcement will allow us to scale up Co Delivery to meet the demand.”

Council gets £80k for eCargo bikes – Radio Exe

E-trikes for Exeter – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Another use for e-trikes would be to carry passengers:

Pedicabs for Sidmouth? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Further research indicates that the ideal service would be a combined cargo-and-passenger bike.

Another VGS member suggests:

Dual-purpose seems to be a necessity to make return journeys pay or to fill in slack periods until the business is established.

Certainly, with recharging points at the Knowle grass-crete carpark, visitors could be offered a lift into town on one of these handy e-trikes.

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An ideal vehicle would be the Yokler dual-purpose parcel and passenger carrier (see photo) – both a pedi-cab and a goods vehicle. By carrying people and goods, these electric trikes can help the local economy to keep moving, can help people to shop and get about locally, and can help the high street to recover:

Professional electric pedicab and cargo bike, by Yokler !

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Yokler is keen to support start-ups:

Create your own business using our taxi pedicab and cargo bike

Offer an ecological pedicab service to transport people in your city

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With a video here:

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Triporteur professionnel à assistance électrique pour le transport de passagers, Yokler X – YouTube

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As for funding such a project in Sidmouth, there are grants which the VGS is looking into.

And as for who would run such a project, ideally that would be a young entrepreneur to start an eco-business or social enterprise.

If you are interested in helping to move this project forward, get in touch with the VGS at: https://visionforsidmouth.org/contact/

   
© Vision Group for Sidmouth 2005-2020