Woolly Saddle cargo bike project

A business trial

Woolly Saddle cargo bike project

South Lakes Action on Climate (SLACCtt) is a community-based charity which brings together people who want to do something about climate change and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

SLACCtt runs a successful ‘Waste into Wellbeing’ project working towards a zero-emission solution for collecting waste food. As cost is a key barrier, the aspiration is to develop a viable model for a bike scheme that serves the wider needs of the community. To get this off the ground, it ran a five-week ‘business’ trial with a loaned e-cargo bike from Raleigh.

Volunteer project coordinator

Jo Haughton explains more:

Our key successes

  • Training 12 volunteers to be cargo bike riders (with most keen to stay involved with the next steps).
  • Positive engagement with more than 20 businesses and organisations
  • Over 300kms cycled.
  • 51 cargo bike trips made, of which 21 replaced car journeys for collections/deliveries.
  • 14 trips made for meetings and courtesy calls.
  • Bespoke trial for National Trust rangers at Sizergh.
  • Four public events attended.
  • Hosted visit and trial by Bicycle Mayor of Cumbria and county council elected members to highlight the challenges with cycle infrastructure.
  • The project created a buzz and excitement in the community as well as friendships and connection.
  • The trial has informed options for the next steps for further trials and insight gathering.

Our key challenges

  • Location for bike storage – space, security, access to electricity and conditions to fulfil requirements of the insurance. We ‘made do’ for the trial by storing it in the office entrance.
  • Insurance – it took a lot of time/discussion to get covered for what was required for the trial.
  • Rider confidence and type of bike – varying levels of confidence even though all were experienced cyclists. This meant some bike ‘sessions’ were used for practice. It was noted that some would have felt happier with an alternative bike transportation solution such as a standard e-bike with trailer.
  • Cycle infrastructure – the cycle routes in Kendal are not suitable for cargo bikes in many places. The one-way traffic system in Kendal is often ‘nose to tail’ with no space for cyclists to safely pass. Sometimes riders had to push the bike along the pavement to pass traffic and still managed to beat the cars!
  • Logistics – who needed to be where, when, the booking process were cited by the volunteers as the most challenging issues. Communication was mainly through a WhatsApp group and email address set up for ‘bookings’.

Jo said:

"During our five-week cargo bike trial, we were simply able to swap car journey collections to bike collections, and offer that service to other businesses in the town.

“It’s a win on all fronts – carbon reduction, traffic reduction but, above all, community connections were made, and it meant that people could see and visualise the benefits providing a positive basis to move forward.”


Please access the links below for further information, including the full project report, a video piece about the Woolly Saddle cargo bike project with the Bicycle Mayor of Cumbria testing Kendal's infrastructure, and a video of Woolly Saddle riders being trained by Breaking Cycles.

Contact details for the project: