Municipality of Poperinge
Poperinge municipal council’s green park services
Poperinge municipal council gears up for less CO2 with Urban Arrow
In West Flanders, close to the French border, lies Poperinge, also known as ‘The good life town’. The town, which has nearly 20,000 inhabitants, has the ambition to position itself as greener and more environmentally conscious every year. Jeroen Vandermarliere, Sustainability Officer with Poperinge municipal council, is dedicated to this goal. “By 2030 we want to have reduced our carbon emissions by 40%, and we are doing that by setting up various energy and climate projects.” One of those projects is aimed at more sustainable mobility within the town. The quest for a green alternative for the council’s service vehicles was thereby high on the agenda.
Colleagues who initially had doubts about the cargo bikes are now totally sold on the idea! Everyone recognises the benefits and the ease of use.Jeroen Vandermarliere
The council’s service vehicles are used for various tasks within the town centre, such as collecting rubbish, maintaining parks and other gardening services. But Jeroen and his colleagues thought: ‘That can be done more sustainably.’ It was not long before the electric cargo bike had made it onto their list of items under consideration, since this alternative to a van fitted seamlessly with the council’s vision of sustainability. “We worked with a number of enthusiastic colleagues who would ultimately be using the cargo bike in order to pick the most appropriate model.” This came with a number of requirements. Hence the cargo bike had to have a sizeable cargo box, and be partly lockable. The environmentally friendly Urban Arrow Tender fitted all these requirements. The council quickly ordered to bikes.
These two cargo bikes are now a welcome addition to Poperinge’s vehicle fleet. “We use the cargo bikes a lot for jobs in the town that are trickier to access by car. But if two different jobs are close together, the cargo bikes are also much more efficient than the vans.” Another benefit of the cargo bike compared to the vans is that employees do not need to hold a driving licence in order to still be able to work independently – something which Jeroen had not initially considered. “Colleagues who cannot drive no longer need to be given a lift to their job by another colleague. That really saves a lot of time. It also means that we can give working students an opportunity to work for us in the holidays.” It’s not just Jeroen and his colleagues who are delighted with the green municipal service vehicles. The residents of Poperinge also smile when they see the bikes. “We are noticing that people find the bike and everything that we carry on it quite special, and are enthusiastic about the environmentally-friendly way in which the council is working.”
By purchasing the two – much-used! – Urban Arrows, the municipal council has made a significant step towards a green future for Poperinge. “The cargo bikes will be a permanent part of our fleet, and are an essential element of our services now. We are delighted to see the enthusiasm when our parks service colleagues hop on their bikes.”