Electric trikes could be used to make deliveries and transport passengers around Sidmouth – if an idea sparked by a lockdown survey becomes a reality.
The principle of a dual-use service, put forward by the Vision Group (VGS) for Sidmouth, has been support by Devon’s highways chief – and could net £2,000 in funding.
A proposal for a combined cargo-and-passenger service has been revealed by the VGS.
It has come about after a survey was sent out by the group and town council.
Some 80 per cent of people who took part said they liked there being less traffic during lockdown and would use a newly-formed local delivery service.
A VGS spokesperson said: “With recharging points at the Knowle car park, visitors could be offered a lift into town on one of these handy e-trikes.
“By carrying people and goods, these electric trikes can help the local economy keep moving, can help people shop and get about locally, and can help the high street recover, with an ideal vehicle being the Yokler dual-purpose parcel and passenger carrier.
“As for funding such a project in Sidmouth, there are grants which the VGS has been 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 – or anyone keen to help rejuvenate the local economy with an emissions-free, modern way to get about our narrow lanes.”
Sidmouth representative Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways, has backed the project and said: “I’m a great believer and ambassador in everything to do with cycling and e-bikes.
“There is also a place for shopping deliveries being made by e-bike and even a benefit to local tourism economy in the summer with an e-cargo bike rickshaw service.
“I do hope that this will be progressed further and am 100 per cent behind any scheme and will offer any help I can to see it happen.
“I’ve offered to make available £2,000 from my locality budget towards this project as long as it was being administered by the Vision Group or another recognised group, but I can’t, however, make funding available to individuals in setting up a business.
“I have raised this with Sidmouth Town Council who are looking at possibly having Co-Bikes with docking stations at the Ham near the information centre and other localities.”
Anyone interested in helping move the project forward can get in touch with the VGS here.
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