Chorlton Bike Deliveries was set up during the first lockdown to respond to the twin needs of local residents who were isolating or shielding to get supplies in and the local retailers to get their goods out to customers.
It soon become clear that a bike delivery service was in demand both within the community and commercial sectors. In our community arm, we pick up unsold goods from supermarkets including Chorlton’s three Co-ops to deliver to organisations that distribute it out where it’s needed eg foodbanks. We also deliver pre-cooked meals and grocery packs from a range of food projects to residents in need.
Our commercial activity has so far concentrated on linking local independent retailers with their customers with 14 local independent shops currently doing regular deliveries to their customers via ourselves. We are also developing our business-to-business activity and for example deliver bread to Unicorn from their their suppliers on a weekly basis.
Chorlton Bike Deliveries aims to provide an alternative to car use. This is both at the level of individuals who choose to have shopping delivered (even if they have done it themselves) rather than use the car to get it home. Our business to business work also has great potential to replace the car/van miles with green, biked ones.
Chorlton Bike Deliveries as a Co-op
In December, we incorporated as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and are in the process of setting up as a multi-stakeholder co-operative. In this model, the range of organisations and individuals we work with, both private and community-based, can become co-op members and therefore have a role in decision-making about Chorlton Bike Deliveries and its development.
What have we achieved so far?
In the 10 months since our launch, our riders have replaced 4,800km (3,000 miles) in cars/vans with bike-pedalled ones. This has saved 840kg of carbon dioxide emissions which is roughly the amount that 38 10-year-old trees absorb in a year.
Plans for the Future
Over the coming year, we will continue the community arm work, responding to need from groups working within our local community as it arises. At the same time, we will extend the commercial aspects of the work offering deliveries from more retailers. We will also seek to develop the business-to-business and other activity including a daily collection from Chorlton GP practices delivering to Withington Community Hospital from March. All of this will be underpinned by our developing our multi-stakeholder co-operative structure in time for our first AGM around the anniversary of our launch in April 2021.
For more information, visit our website at www.chorltonbikedeliveries.coop.