Businesses in the Dún Laoghaire area of Dublin are being offered subsidised e-Cargo bikes for making deliveries.
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council says the scheme, which offers bikes with a box for goods and electric pedal assistance for €100 a month, is about cutting carbon emissions and helping local businesses to beat the traffic.
Twenty bicycles are available under the scheme and any company in the council area can apply to use one for up to six months.
The council hopes this will convince some businesses to go on to buy their own e-cargo bike.
Its Head of Enterprise and Economics Owen Laverty says the scheme should save money and time for companies.
He says the council is looking for businesses that will get a lot of use from the bikes. adding that they would work for those with young staff many of whom would not have driving licences.
He hopes the scheme will show businesses that bike deliveries are a viable alternative to using a car, a van or a taxi.
Caviston's Food Emporium in Glasthule is one business already signed up.
It has been delivering to local customers during the Covid-19 restrictions and Peter Caviston says the bikes are great because they can beat the traffic and parking will not be an issue.
He is also impressed by the carrying capacity and by the motor "which will be marvellous for my old legs".
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In Cornelscourt Annie Bloom Florist has been delivering by bike since it bought an e-Cargo bike in February.
Manager Reka Kurtos says she would be recommend bike deliveries, saying they can be really fast and the branded bike is eye catching, with people often stopping delivery man Frank for a chat.
She says it also helps the business to do its bit in helping the environment.
The e-cargo bikes are being supplied by Bleeper Bike which has been running a regular bike-sharing scheme in Dublin for several years.
CEO Hugh Cooney says Bleeper is also, separate to the Dún Laoghaire council scheme, renting out cargo bike to businesses and individuals.
He says it has gone into the cargo bike market after seeing trends in other European countries such as Germany and France where e-bikes have become much more popular over the last year or two.
Businesses interested in applying for a subsidised e-cargo bike can find out more on the Bleeperbox page on the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council website.