Beryl’s bike share scheme has arrived in Norwich, with an initial rollout of 225 bikes available to hire throughout the city.
A partnership between Transport for Norwich and Beryl was announced last year as part of a series of projects funded through the central Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
465 bikes will become available along with the launch of e-bikes later in the year. Bikes will be available to pick up and drop off at an initial 47 Beryl Bays increasing to over 70 being installed across the city.
Beryl CEO Phillip Ellis, said: “We hope that by bringing our innovative scheme to the area, which will have both pedal and electric-assisted bicycles, it will have a positive effect on the local environment, encourage more people to use the excellent cycling infrastructure that Norwich already has in place and bring a bit more fun into people’s daily routines.
“Our aim is to encourage more people to change their habits, replace car journeys with greener modes of transport and enjoy more of the city by bike.”
On 4th April, Norfolk County Council’s Pushing Ahead Project will join forces with Beryl and Active Norfolk to hold a public cycling event to celebrate the arrival of the scheme. Residents of all ages are invited to come along and trial the bikes for free, participate in a host of games and activities, and have the chance to win prizes. There will also be a number of free day passes being given out on a first-come-first-served basis.
Anyone over 16 can hire a Beryl bike through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users. The bikes can be picked up and dropped off in marked Beryl Bays that have been selected and approved in conjunction with local authority partners.
With the aim of encouraging a shift from car to bicycle use, a number of bays will also repurpose existing on-street car parking. Key locations for Tier one parklets include St Benedict’s Street, Gloucester Street, Unthank Road, and Upper St Giles Street. Tier two bays will feature planters. Tier three bays are steel cycle parking stands, installed by the Beryl team across the city. After a trip, riders will tether the Beryl bike in one of these 70 designated locations ready for the next rider to pick up.
“Norwich is already one of the country’s leading cycling cities,” added councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for Highways and Infrastructure and chair of the Transforming Cities Joint Committee.
“This scheme will allow us to build on that by offering people more flexibility and choice around sustainable transport options, which ultimately helps us to reduce congestion and emissions while staying active and healthy in our day-to-day lives.
“We’ve already seen a 40% uplift in cycling through the infrastructure we have delivered to date and will look to grow this further should we be successful in the next round of transforming cities funding.”