It is suggested that our postmen and women may be issued with mopeds instead of bicycles and vans. Radstock is an ideal location to carry out a trial, as it delivers to fairly concentrated urban areas, such as Westfield, and also to rural areas, like Clapton and Ston Easton.
The urban deliveries will speed up, as the mopeds are faster than bicycles, but the rural rounds may need to be split into two, so that the mopeds can carry the load. Rural mopeds will have knobbly tyres to cope with the slippery conditions
This addresses the concern that jobs may be lost; as the saving on urban rounds will be absorbed by the doubling of rural rounds. There will be a saving in capital cost as although the mopeds are more expensive than bicycles, they are considerably cheaper than vans.
Another worry for staff is for those without a moped driving licence. All staff will attend a safe riding course and those without a licence will be trained for the test. As a moped can be ridden on L plates for quite a while, staff can train on the job. Every postie will be issued with their own safety helmet and a dedicated moped. If the postie has suitable space at home, they can take it home and use it to travel to and from work.
It has been suggested that this is the thin end of a wedge for a foreign country to take a stake in our postal services, as is the case with Dutch, German and French state railways running UK railways. This has been hotly denied.
There is effectively only one UK manufacturer of motorcycles and unfortunately they do not make a moped. It seems the most likely supplier of the mopeds will be Aprilia.