Delivery bikes, once considered a thing of the past, will be back on the streets of Cowes next month thanks to a new green scheme.

Free delivery by electric cargo bike is going to be available for businesses in the Cowes area in August and September, as part of a new pilot project testing demand for a permanent electric cargo delivery service.

The two-month pilot project aims to showcase the capabilities of electric cargo bikes to local businesses and organisations.

It is being run by People Powered Community Interest Company (PPCIC) and is being supported by the IW Council with funding from the Council's Access Fund sustainable transport programme.

PPCIC says e-cargo bike deliveries offer wide benefits: replacing diesel or petrol powered journeys, creating quieter, safer streets as well as improving air quality, reducing CO2 emissions, and cutting down on traffic.

Isle of Wight County Press: Will Ainslie loading up the e-cargo bike with a delivery.Will Ainslie loading up the e-cargo bike with a delivery.

The delivery service will start on August 2, and be available for local businesses who want to make deliveries in the Cowes/Gurnard/Northwood area.

In addition to delivering on behalf of Cowes-based businesses, “last mile” deliveries from elsewhere on the Isle of Wight will be received at a micro-hub in Cowes and distributed by e-cargo bike.

Will Ainslie, director of PPCIC, said, “We’re making deliveries free of charge for the period of the trial to make it as risk-free as possible for a wide range of businesses and organisations to try out.

"We hope there will be sufficient interest to make the service permanent once the trial is over.”

The project has two further features to encourage cargo bike use on the Island.

Firstly, organisations that do their own deliveries will have the opportunity to borrow an e-cargo bike to see if it is suitable for their delivery needs. Bikes will need to be

ridden by staff from the business, and appropriate training will be provided prior to the loan.

The offer is open to organisations across the Island.

Isle of Wight County Press: e-cargo bikes are coming to Cowes.e-cargo bikes are coming to Cowes.

Secondly, there will be a demonstration sessions across the Island, allowing businesses and organisations to try out e-cargo bikes and find out more about them.

Dates and locations will be posted on the project website www.people-powered/ and advertised via social media @peoplepowerediw.

For further information contact Will Ainslie on 01983 898055 or email:

Cllr Phil Jordan, cabinet lead for infrastructure and transport, said: "With the recent publication of the government's Transport Decarbonisation Plan, it is timely we are able to announce this exciting new project. "E-cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular for ‘last mile’ deliveries, particularly in cities, and this pilot will allow us to understand what opportunities these present for the Isle of Wight.”