E-Cargo Bikes - Osman O’Connor & Co. Property Maintenance and Gardening Services give their verdict

Published: Monday, October 19, 2020

The fight for better air quality in the borough remains an important area of concern for Wandsworth Council and its residents.

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E-Cargo bikes are one of the ways that the council has been helping reduce carbon emissions across the borough.

This week, we are taking a look at Osman O’Connor & Co. Property Maintenance and Gardening Services and how they have been successfully using an e-Cargo bike.

We asked Wandsworth based co-founders Lawrence and Tara to share their experience of using an e-Cargo bike and the impact it’s had on their business.

Tara said: “We were using both of our cars - a petrol Skoda Fabia estate - and van - a diesel Fiat Doblo. Having been planning to find a carbon-neutral way to transport materials and tools to/from jobs, we had very thoroughly researched the available options and identified that our needs could be met with a pedal-assisted Urban Arrow XL. Then we heard about the potential to apply for a matched-funding grant.

“Since having been awarded the grant and taken delivery of our e-Cargo bike, we have really put it through its paces - in one particular week, we clocked-up 95 carbon-free miles, crisscrossing west and southwest London with tools and materials.

“With our e-Cargo bike we have been able to carry heavy loads, sometimes close to its maximum carrying limits. And even regularly make it up the very steep hills to an estate in Gypsy Hill, where we have the contract for regular grounds maintenance. We are extra-grateful for every bit of help the bike’s excellent Bosch pedal assist gives during that particular journey!

“There are also additional logistics planning considerations when switching to an e-Cargo bike e.g. when you are no longer driving around in a van/car with everything you might need in the back. But becoming more efficient with what is actually needed for a particular job and more careful planning of what needs to be collected/dropped-off and in which sequence is a helpful discipline and is more than worth the effort to reduce our emissions footprint.”

Tara added: “We are also experiencing health benefits, both mental and physical, of exercising and of not being stuck-in the usual crawling queues of main road traffic as well as the efficiency benefits of being able to use bus and cycle lanes and to filter past traffic jams.

“We can honestly say that our e-Cargo bike is a great pleasure to ride - getting ourselves and equipment to and from jobs has become actually enjoyable. And, most importantly, our car is now only very rarely used.”

Cllr O’Broin, Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate Resource and Climate Sustainability, said: “Osman & O’Connor are setting a great example for other businesses in the borough.

“It’s fantastic to see a local business strive to not only reduce their carbon emissions but become a carbon zero operation.”

If you are interested in e-Cargo bikes for home or work, please visit the Peddle My Wheels website. Through their Try Before You Bike Scheme, residents and businesses can use an e-Cargo bike for a monthly fee and if they like it buy it at a discount price or pay over 12 months.

To read our previous e-Cargo bike case study with our parks police, click here