Emerging Project

Local Delivery Service

Idea: Local Business Delivery Service

A delivery service that supports local residents and businesses to shop locally and have their purchases delivered by sustainable models of transport such as cargo bikes and electric vans, with the potential of a same-day service. Organised via an App (opportunity to integrate with Town Centre Website/ App), a small service charge could be instated to cover running costs and contribute towards a local town centre community fund.

Why it is useful:

  • Makes it easier for people to support local businesses whilst responding to changing consumer habits with increases in online shopping and home deliveries. Especially relating to COVID-19 where more independent businesses have diversified into online sales and deliveries.
  • Extra sales via online can help support businesses to stay on the High Street.
  • Reduces traffic as deliveries are consolidated and using sustainable modes of transport, such as electric cargo bikes or vehicles.
  • People could still shop in person, if preferred, and use the service to deliver – encouraging walking.
  • Proximity makes same-day deliveries possible.

Who needs to be involved:

  • Local Businesses / Town Team / Council: Champion
  • Operator: Lead
  • Council: Support (potential for the Library to be involved)
  • Community couriers: Employment
  • Residents: Participate

How to get started:

  • Engage local businesses and residents
  • Procure an operator
  • Develop a strong, local advertising campaign to stimulate interest and buy-in
  • In the longer-term could lead to the trial of a last mile delivery hub to reduce the impact of delivery vehicles on the local area. Deliveries from further afield would be consolidated at one strategically positioned hub and eCargo bikes or electric vehicles used for local distribution e.g. Local Hub

Viability considerations:

  • Funding opportunities: Start-up capital: Potential grant funding to pilot the scheme, such as future rounds of the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, Government eCargo Bike Grant schemes etc. Local crowd-funding could also be explored. On-going revenue stream: Delivery/service charge, and possible sponsorship
  • Resource – requires paid staff, to be covered by revenue streams
  • In the long-term a site may be needed for locating a last mile delivery hub, providing vehicle storage and driver facilities. Consideration required for integration into a wider network across Barnet’s other town centres

Example: Greenwich

In a bid to reduce carbon emissions and counter the increasing impact of diesel delivery vans on the environment, Greenwich have completed a six-month e-cargo bike trial. The e-cargo bike is faster than van delivery, can handle large and heavy loads of up to 200kg. The bike can travel on quieter routes away from rush hour traffic, supporting businesses to save money on fuel costs and build more flexibility into delivery times for customers. The next stage of the project involves signing up nine businesses to the scheme. The trial was delivered by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, in partnership with Royal Borough of Greenwich, Riese and Muller, Bosch, Cycledelik and Imperial College London, and has been Highly Commended for a London Transport Award under the category of ‘Contribution to Sustainable Transport’.