Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Update on community cargo bike scheme.

So we've finished the consultation on the community cargo bike scheme and it is going to go ahead! This is the summary we just sent out to people who got in touch:

What is the project about?

We want to put cargo bikes in communities for people to use. They can be used to move big loads about without much effort, so you could do the weekly shop, visit the allotment or maybe even do the school run on one!

Why you?

You will have found out about the cargo bike project because we have been consulting people about it. We posted on our company Facebook. We visited 500 homes in the St James area of Hereford and dropped flyers to them. We also held an event in Hereford where people could see the bike and then held a talk about the project at the Courtyard Theatre as part of h:Energy. 

Are we going to launch the community cargo bike programme?

Yes - it is going to happen! A trial and launch of our first one will be in Hereford for the St James Area. If this is a success we will roll the scheme out to other areas in Great Britain and further away if the scheme can work there. 

What was the feedback like?

Totally crazy! - To give you an idea of just how positive it was over 17,000 people saw info we had posted or sent out and we had responses from people all over the world. 5 community groups already want us to input a scheme for them when we are up and running and people from lots of major cities in the UK and abroad welcomed the idea. 

The most important feedback we had was from the targeted area which we sent flyers to and invited to our talks. Of those we have a collection of about 20 people, who are within a radius of 150m of each other, who would regularly use a scheme like this if they had access to it. In addition to those 20 people there are a further 25 people who would like to use the scheme on an ad-hock basis. We also think that when the scheme does launch that it will naturally attract more people to it.

Some cargo bike manufacturing organisations and a representative from the European Cargo Logistics Federation wrote to us to tell us that they see this sort of scheme as a way of making these bikes really accessible to the masses and overcoming a number of things that prevent regular people from using them. 

In addition to this we also had some great practical feedback about launching the scheme. Suggestions were made about a day where people could try the bike in a safe environment and get more familiar with it, we think this is something we will definitely do.

Where are we going to launch it?

The St James area in Hereford, the exact spot is yet to be confirmed.

When will it launch?

We hope by Spring 2013 the bike will officially have somewhere to live, will have a smart online booking system and will be in regular use. However it is likely that we will have the bike a long time before that so hopefully we will have it in use sooner than Spring. We want people to be talking about the scheme and helping us to develop it. It might be that we lend it to a few people for a week or so and get their feedback.

What happens next?

First of all we have to gather all of our funding for the scheme and then we have some work to do. Simply put we need to get a bike, find somewhere for it to live and make an easy way for people to book it out. 

Once all of that is done we should be somewhere near the official launch time and have a product which we will be able deploy locally and then if successful something which we can duplicate in other places.

How can you help?

Most of the stuff is under control at the moment, very important is we find a space where the bike can live somewhere within 200m of HR1 2RB Our hope is we might be able to get the pod the bike will live in on a road instead of a parking space if not it will have to be on private land. We have some ideas, but if you have any ideas about places it could live them we would love to hear them. Other than that, sit tight and you'll get some updates about what we are doing via this email address. 

How can you get other people involved? 

Get their email address to us and we'll put them on this mailing list, or get them to email - info@herefordpedicargo and we can send them some information. 

So for now that is your update, it looks really positive and we can't wait to get things going, we'll be in touch and please feel free to contact us if you need.