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Christmas Courier Scheme is off to a Flyer

The Christmas Courier scheme launched by Waltham Forest Council to provide emission free deliveries over the festive period has proven to be a massive success, with 387 packages delivered in the first week.


Fruit and veg, craft beers, wine and coffee have all been delivered free of charge from local businesses to addresses in Walthamstow using cargo bikes and electric vans since Monday, and a ‘shop and drop’ service has also been offered which allows shoppers to get their heavy bags of Christmas shopping delivered right to their doorstep.


Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the launch of our Christmas Courier service with around 400 packages delivered so far. We’ll be making deliveries right up until 23 December, and with some fantastic local businesses signed up all you need to do is place your order and wait for your goodies to arrive!


“By making local deliveries using emission-free vehicles we are also helping to improve air quality, reduce the number short journeys made by motor vehicles and take congestion off the roads.The results of the trial in Walthamstow to develop our plans for a borough-wide zero emission courier service in 2017.”


One of the residents to have used the service was Becky Kingsnorth, who was very happy with the service she received: “I ordered a gift online from an awesome local business, and I was amazed when it was delivered the same day, for free, and by bike too!”


Participating businesses are also impressed with the service that Christmas Courier is providing for their customers. Edna Kim, owner of Petals in Bloom said: “Customers are very happy to find out about the scheme. It opens up possibilities with people who have difficulties getting here. It’s immediate and the bikes are very quick on the roads.”


The Council recently secured £400,000 from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund (MAQF) to launch a zero emission courier scheme for local businesses. The project is working to find greener ways of making local goods deliveries.


Residents who make a purchase at any of the participating businesses can take advantage of the Christmas Courier scheme to have it delivered to an address in Walthamstow free of charge until Friday 23 December. The majority of items will be delivered by cargo bike, with larger items being delivered by electric van.


The participating businesses are OrganicLea, The Italian Delicatessen of Walthamstow, Perky Blenders Coffee, Debbie Bliss Home, Froth and Rind, Bella Quail, Maghreb Food Store, Menagerie Makes, Petals in Bloom, Forest Wines, In Vino Veritas and William Morris Gallery. For more information visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/christmas-courier.


The Council has also been using the emission-free vehicles to deliver supplies of grit to local volunteers who are part of the Snow Angels scheme.


Waltham Forest Council already operates a free cargo bike hire scheme for residents and businesses, with different bikes available that are perfect for the school run, shopping trips or local deliveries. A refundable deposit of £100 is required on pick up, and first time users will need to have an induction and quick road test. For more information visit www.enjoywalthamforest.co.uk/cargo-bike.

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For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.