In the first of a new regular feature ‘Organised Cycling’ in which we ask local businesses and organisations share what cycling means to them, cycle delivery service Steve from IndieGO York shares his vision for a shop to home cycle delivery service and how they’re already reacting to the COVID-19 situation.
IndieGO has initially been inspired by Harry, of Love Cheese on Gillygate.
I’m Steve – I was part of a team that created York’s own LavaBox, which was fast food by car and bike – one of the UK’s first such ventures, the vision was for a shopping delivery hub but it wasn’t to be. I had planned in 2019 to do more non-food delivery so had slowly started discussing options with the York BID and council to create a future proofing zero emissions operation, thinking of a dedicated delivery hub more for parcels and essentials than takeaways but it all takes time and now this virus with the lock-down has sped everything up.
So, to react, the priority with getting going is currently pharmacy collections for vulnerable people and then supporting York’s traders with their deliveries.
Professionally, this situation highlights that York is definitely missing out on all the same day benefits of everything brought to your door by bike, from parcels and fresh fruit to Primark, the infrastructure is already half there to make it a huge win for everybody, especially at a time York is having massive transformations in redeveloping areas. We are very lucky to have close knit and vibrant trading communities around the city, the ambition is that getting a fleet of electric cargo-bikes going which whizz through traffic from businesses and shops to doorsteps – saves everybody time and money.
We all order so much online because after a few taps while sat on the sofa it arrives almost by magic the next day, assuming you’re home to get it! but what if we ordered from the shops in town and things were delivered almost by magic the next afternoon or evening too? It’s a perfect way to keep local retail going strong and keeping our friends in work.
When I say the infrastructure is already half there, I mean there are cycling options all across the area but some need improving, some just aren’t planned properly and some need creating.
I think this next few months is going to be a huge opportunity to evaluate what we can all do to make York a better place, using bikes more for work as well as exercise, being stuck in less traffic with more time saved on journeys. We have queues today outside shops and chemists, but with electric bike delivery to your door? ..there is no need to jump in the car and go to the chemist or miss out on that new outfit you can’t get to the shop for, and so many of us already cycle for fun or order tea through Uber.
Businesses can adapt and start from a crisis, we can create good jobs here and there’s so much more available…
If you run a business or other organisation in York or the surrounding area and want to share your story, please get in touch at YorkCycleCampaign@gmail.com