Like many cities around the world, the Norwegian capital city Olso is struggling with air pollution caused by motor traffic. As recently as last month the city banned diesel vehicles from the centre as pollution leveles rose to dangerous levels. The country has committed to completely phase out fossil fuel cars in the next decade, and the city of Oslo is pushing ahead with a plan to build over 500km of cycle routes in the city at a cost of £1.3bn. The aim is to get cycling's modal share up to 16%; currently it's around 5%.
Now the forward-thinking city is also tempting road users out of their cars with a new scheme: Anyone living in Olso will be able to get a grant for 25% of the cost of a new electric cargo bike. The grant is for up to 10,000 Norwegian Krone (about £950), and the scheme is pretty simple: you register your intent, get approved by the Climate and Energy Fund, buy the bike and then claim the refund. You need to register the bike, too, but it's pretty simple. The scheme has been so popular that the initial campaign is already sold out.
Oslo certainly isn't a flat city, with many of the suburban areas 150-200m above the city centre, and the road network is currently strongly geared towards motor traffic, although there is also an extensive tram network. The new cycle network will include 50km of key arterial routes for cyclists, and once completed it will mean that 80% of the city's residents will live within 200m of a cycle route. The city authorities are hoping that cargo bikes will become an established part of the city's transport mix.