Dublin City Council and the Dublin City Business Association have joined forces to promote the take-up of La Petite Reine cargo trikes. The trikes - which can be boosted with electric assistance - have been used in Paris since 2001. Cities such as Geneva and London also have small fleets.
The trikes can carry 180kg of cargo and are ideal for congested city streets where lorries can cause congestion and which do a lot of costly damage to roads and pavements.
According to the Irish Times, Dublin City Council is seeking expressions of interest for a cargo trike scheme. As well as the cost savings from less damage to city infrastructure, a cargo trike fleet would be the best way for deliveries to reach businesses in the central business district during large-scale roadworks being planned for next year.
"The scheme would be retained long term to protect road surfaces," said the Irish Times.
Dublin, similar to many other cities around the world, is designing its city centre to be more people friendly and is making the CBD less friendly to motorised traffic.
Brendan O’Brien, head of technical services at Dublin City Council’s traffic department, said:
“Urban cargo deliveries are more customer friendly than traditional delivery trucks; provide a long-term solution of greater access through city streets and pedestrian routes; flexibility in terms of delivery times and loading, and cost-effectiveness for operating businesses."
Traditional trucks were “unsustainable transportation vehicles,” he said.
The council has had to spend several million euros repaving city centre streets due to wear and tear caused by delivery trucks.
A photo in the newspaper of the La Petite Reine trikes in action in Dublin shows a URL of urbancargo.ie but this does not yet link to a live website.
La Petite Reine trikes have a cargo capacity of 1500 litres, can be plastered with advertising signs and can be powered with Heinzmann pedal-assist motors. There's even a Frigocycle, a trike with a refrigerated rear.