FILE PHOTO / PIXABAY
Cargo bikes may be a more attractive option for Kildare people as the government is looking at new measures to promote the use of the vehicles to reduce emissions and fight climate change.
The vehicles are already helping to replace cars in towns and cities in the UK, France and Germany and are ideal for grocery shopping, school runs and delivery drivers.
Most e-cargo bikes allow the cyclist to carry up to 60kg in the trunk and a fully charged battery that can last for up to 160km.
The Department of Transport said it is investigating options to encourage people to own or hire the vehicles.
A spokesperson said: "The Department is examining a number of measures that will encourage the purchase and use of electric bikes, e-scooters and e-cargo bikes as part of our input into the Budgetary process.
"Ownership grants or assistance are just one part of the measures being examined, we are also looking at cargo bike sharing systems along with e-bike sharing systems that may provide a greater number of people with access to bikes when they need them rather than having permanent ownership."
Labour Party leader and cyclist Ivana Bacik said that cago bikes can be a viable option for businesses making deliveries to customers.
She said: "As a daily cyclist myself I know how useful it is to have additional cargo capacity eg with panniers and baskets - cargo bikes provide a really substantial extra capacity for transporting and can make cycling a much more viable option for many."
To encourage more cycling, the Department of Transport increased the limits on the Bike-to-Work scheme last year and added: "We are constantly examining ways to support an increase in the numbers cycling due to the unprecedented level of investment in cycling infrastructure all around the country. We know from the Walking and Cycling Index published earlier this year that access is key rather than ownership."
The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network has called for the current subsidies for buying electric cars to be extended to cargo bikes.
A spokesperson said: "A CSO survey in 2019 found that private cars are used for 29% of journeys as short as 2km or less, which is a startling statistic that needs to be tackled. We need to enable and encourage travel by bike and on foot for shorter journeys, by funding the required infrastructure."
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