Dockless bike sharing platform ofo launched in Norwich on Friday.
The move follows successful launches in London, Oxford, and Cambridge.
Rides will be completely free for the first two weeks in order to give people the chance to try the service with no obligation. After this period, a charge of 50p for every ride under 30 minutes will be introduced.
An initial 200 bikes are being released onto the streets of Norwich, with the fleet gradually increasing to 350 in coming weeks.
ofo is working closely with Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council to ensure its geofence works well for customers and local authorities. This will help the service to integrate with existing cycling infrastructure in the area.
ofo first launched in the UK in April this year in Cambridge, and has since rolled out to Oxford and Hackney. At least ten marshals, who manage bicycle fleets and assist customers, will be employed by ofo on launch in the city, increasing to 20 in the following weeks.
ofo’s UK operations director Joseph Seal-Driver commented: “We’re delighted to announce ofo’s arrival in Norwich, which will provide residents with flexible, convenient and affordable transport options – transforming the way cyclists get around the city for the better. By providing a practical alternative to the car, ofo bikes will also promote the fantastic health benefits of cycling – reducing air pollution and boosting healthy lifestyles.”
Norfolk County Council’s chair of Norwich Highways Agency Committee John Fisher said: “We’ve been working with ofo and colleagues at the city council to make sure this scheme has the best chance of being a success in Norwich. A series of measures has been agreed to help the service operate in a way that doesn’t inconvenience others but still brings all the benefits of this cheap and convenient way to explore the city by bike.”