[messengers] Council offers bike scheme for deliveries

Date: 18 Nov 2010 12:56:09 +0100
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>

Council offers bike scheme for deliveries





Irish Times, November 18, 2010


BUSINESSES in Dublin’s
city centre are being asked to swap their delivery vans for bicycles to
minimise disruption and ensure continuity of supplies during the Metro North


The initiative from Dublin City Council and the Dublin City Business
Association would see a fleet of “urban cargo” bikes carrying loads of up to
180kg on the city’s streets in the next 18 months.


The council is seeking expressions of interest for the
scheme which would ensure shops and restaurants in the central business
district, from Parnell Square
to St Stephen’s Green and Smithfield
to Merrion Square,
are not cut off due to the large-scale roadworks planned for the Metro North
and other infrastructural projects.


The scheme would be retained long term to protect road
surfaces in pedestrianised areas such as Grafton Street and Henry Street and to allow for the better
operation of bus systems in the city centre.


The operation of the scheme will depend on the expressions
of interest the council receives from today. In Geneva
and Paris,
where there are similar schemes, businesses contract their deliveries out to a
firm that operates the bikes instead of using their own vans or hiring


The council said it could make a central depot available for
the delivery bikes in Smithfield
or the markets area. Larger lorries could bring cargo to the depot, instead of
entering the central business district – and the bikes would then be used to
distribute the goods to businesses. The bikes were a cost-effective solution as
the city centre becomes increasingly restrictive to traffic, Brendan O’Brien,
head of technical services at the council’s traffic department, said.


“Urban cargo deliveries are more customer friendly than
traditional delivery trucks; provide a long-term solution of greater access
through city streets and pedestrian routes; flexibility in terms of delivery
times and loading, and cost-effectiveness for operating businesses.”


After the metro, Dart underground and cross-city Luas works,
the council did not want a return to the use of “unsustainable transportation
vehicles”, he added.


The council had to spend several million euro repaving Grafton Street and
the surrounding side streets due to wear and tear caused by delivery trucks, he
said, a cost that was borne by businesses through commercial rates.



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