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GTL Chosen for Sustrans' Glasgow Feature Story

Sustrans is a UK charity that empowers people to choose ways to travel that are good for themselves, their communities and the environment. In Scotland, they're also the custodians of the National Cycle Network. To mark the release of their Walking and Cycling Index for Glasgow, Glasgow Tool Library (GTL) was chosen as the Glasgow feature case study due to our work cutting emissions and helping ease the pressure of the cost of living crisis in Scotland’s largest city. They sat down with GTLs co-founder Chris Strachan and cycle courier Harry Gould to learn more about GTL. They also made a video featuring GTLs work.



What's Glasgow Tool Library's Connection with Cycling and Transport?


The aim behind GTL is to help people save money and reduce their consumption by providing access to useful tools and equipment that people can use for their homes, gardens and hobbies.  


We were looking for ways to expand across Glasgow and deliver more tools to more people. First we looked into buying an electric van to run our drop-off and collection service at different collection points, but it was expensive and didn't seem practical for us as a small organisation. So we looked into different possibilities. We needed something that would have enough space for tools - often large objects with odd sizes that can be complicated to pack.   


We were looking for ways to expand across Glasgow and deliver more tools to more people.

It was also important for us to choose a sustainable way to deliver tools because the whole aim of Glasgow Tool Library is to help move away from a wasteful form of consumerism that's bad for our planet, towards accessing the resources we need in a sustainable way.


e-Cargo Bike Gets Tools to Partner Collection Points


Eventually, we got funding for an e-cargo bike. One of the benefits of using an e-cargo bike and trailer in the city is that where there are cycle paths, it can be a lot quicker to get around the city centre than a van that gets stuck in traffic. It is also something that is easy for our volunteers to use. You don't need a licence, just a bit of training to use it.

One of the benefits of using an e-cargo bike and trailer in the city is that where there are cycle paths, it can be a lot quicker to get around the city centre than a van that gets stuck in traffic.

We've been using the e-bike and trailer for our collection point service to get more tools to different parts of Glasgow. We've been working with community partners like Barrowfield Community Hub and Kinning Park Complex. People can reserve tools online and then we pack them up in our trailer from our hub in Maryhill, and bring them down to those community centres, for people to come and collect or return them. We're launching a new community partnership with Fuse Community Hub in the East End soon, as part of their Shettleston 100 Project to reduce household consumption and waste. In fact, we're always looking for more community hub partners, and plan on continuing to make use of our amazing e-cargo bike!

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