A BICYCLE postal service has launched a new hub that could reduce congestion and make Oxford greener.

City firm Pedal & Post was set up last year and has just launched its first hub off Botley Road.

It will allow post to be delivered directly to the team’s HQ so that it can transport parcels across the city using zero-emission cargo bikes.

Director Christopher Benton said: “We need to stop vans and HGVs getting into the inner city.

“Seventy per cent of delivery cost comes from the last mile – it’s much more efficient for big companies to have their post sent to us then we deliver to homes.

“It would reduce congestion and parking problems in the city while greatly improving air quality.”

Mr Benton, 24, used to run a pop-up coffee shop in Oxford before he noticed the need for a more efficient delivery service around the city.

He said: “My shop was in Little Clarendon Street and I used to see lots of vans and large vehicles parked up and blocking the road.

“I thought there’s got to be a better way to deliver around the city.

“I already had to lug coffee equipment around.

“The idea developed from there and now we have faster, lighter bikes and with the hub we are on to stage two.”

The part-time cocktail bar worker said while the Binsey Lane location was not ideal, it was a start and would stop larger delivery vehicles coming right into the city centre.

The hub will also offer self-storage for businesses, individuals and vehicles.

The firm already delivers post for local businesses such as Gatineau and Liscious Interiors, both in Summertown, and Boswells in the city centre. It picks up their post and delivers it to houses in postcodes OX1 to OX5.

He said: “Our goal is to increase the efficiency of local businesses and save them money.

“The 8 Freight cargo bike we use is a proven tool and nearly always quicker and cheaper than conventional vans and HGVs.”

Mr Benton said he wanted the courier service to expand and make the final mile greener.

“We want to become a sub-contractor for national courier firms, again deploying the bike fleet to save time and expense and to ‘green and speed’ the last mile of delivery.”

At the moment the company charges £5.50 to collect and deliver a package under 10kg and £7.50 for a full load of up to 180kg.

For an extra £1, the delivery can be made in 90 minutes within Oxford.