Transport for Norwich has appointed a new bike share provider as part of its first series of projects funded through central government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
Beryl will be launching a bikeshare scheme next spring and will see up to 600 manual and electric-assist bikes available to hire throughout the city centre and surrounding area.
The company is currently working with Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council on the details of the scheme but the operating zone and parking hubs will be designed to help connect strategic locations, such as education and employment centres with residential areas and the city centre.
Riders will have the choice of using the bikes pay-as-you-ride or by purchasing minute bundles via the company’s app. Beryl will be working with local community groups to ensure the scheme is widely accessible. They have also allocated funding to support lower income residents in using the scheme.
Members of the public can suggest locations for Beryl Bays using Beryl’s survey at bit.ly/BerylBay Beryl will analyse these locations alongside the council and local stakeholders as they plan the network of Beryl Bay locations over the next few weeks.
Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s chair of Transforming Cities Joint Committee, says: “Norwich is one of the country’s leading cycling cities so it’s fantastic that we’re able to provide a new bike share service through our latest round of funding.
“Beryl offers a high-quality product and has a good track record. Their presence will give 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.
“I’ve no doubt the scheme will prove popular with both residents and visitors and look forward to welcoming the bikes to the city next spring.”
Phil Ellis, Beryl CEO, says, “We are delighted to be providing a bike share service across Norwich that will enable more people to make everyday journeys on two wheels.
“It’s a privilege to partner with Transport for Norwich who have shown a commitment to getting more people cycling and tackling the environmental and health challenges that come with reliance on cars. We look forward to working with the residents of Norwich and visitors to the city, to transform Norwich into a city that moves smart, green and with ease.”
Councillor Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth said: “One of the most striking things people tell us when we talk about the city and their vision for the future is that they want a full range of travel options, cleaner, cheaper and more efficient ways to get around.
“The numbers of people cycling in Norwich in the last five years is up 40 per cent and continues to increase and, as the UK’s first sharing city, we have a growing sharing economy – so we are delighted to be able to work with our partners to meet the demands of local people and the needs of the planet.”
How the scheme works
- Users can pick up and park a Beryl Bike inside the operating zone in Norwich.
- Users are incentivised to park inside allocated Beryl Bays, although they can be parked away from these areas for a small ‘convenience fee’.
- Potential sites for the bays are currently being explored in partnership with Beryl. Beryl welcomes contact from local organisations and businesses keen to have a bay nearby.
- A large designated operation zone will also be established across the city and clearly marked in the app’s map. An out of zone parking penalty is charged to those who leave bikes outside this area.
How much will it cost?
- The pay-as-you-ride option involves a £1 unlock fee and is then charged at 5p per minute.
- Minutes can also be bought in bundles starting at 100 minutes for £5.
- Day passes give 24 hours of unlimited use for £12.
- Beryl is looking at further pricing options that will ensure the scheme is accessible and well-used.
The scheme is being funded for an initial five-year period with £700,000 from Transforming Cities, with no costs allocated from local budgets.
It’s one of six projects which received a total of £6.1m of funding through the first round of Transforming Cities funding.
The Transport for Norwich bid to the main £1.2bn pot of money is due to be submitted in November, with an announcement on any funding allocated to follow before the end of the financial year.
Members and officers from the Greater Norwich authorities of Norfolk County, Norwich City, Broadland District and South Norfolk Councils have been working together on proposals since Norwich became one of 12 cities shortlisted for funding last summer.
Issued by Norfolk County Council. For more information about Transforming Cities, please visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/transformingcities
About the bikes
The three-speed gear bike has a step-through design suitable for riders from 4’11” to 6’5”. They are also fitted with the company’s patented Laserlight Technology, combining a bright, dynamo-powered white light with a green laser projection, visible at night. This allows riders to be seen in blind spots and forewarn pedestrians that they’re on the road when riding in the dark.
Through the custom-built reporting dashboard, Beryl will be able to provide insights from the data generated by the bikes to help local authorities plan and grow their cycling infrastructure, based on accurate journey data.
Beryl, was founded as Blaze in 2012 by Emily Brooke with the vision of becoming world leaders in urban cycling technology. The brand's first product, the Laserlight, was created to tackle the biggest problem for city cyclists: being caught in the blind spot. Beryl has been shipping the Laserlight to more than 60 countries worldwide since late 2013.
The following years saw the launch of new consumer products, the integration of our core laser technology into the bikes of London and New York and the co-designing of the new Santander Cycles for London. In Spring 2018 Blaze renamed to Beryl coinciding with the tipping point of a new era for the company, an evolution marking the next step in their mission to get more people on bikes in cities.
In 2018, Beryl launched two dockless bike share schemes in London for corporate clients and is now expanding to city-wide schemes. Beryl is also accredited with CoMoUK, which is the agreed standard of Best Practice for the industry.
In 2019, Beryl announced their move into the urban bike-sharing sector in its own right announcing their first location as Bournemouth and Poole followed shortly by Hereford, Enfield, The City of London and Norwich.
For more information, please visit beryl.cc/bikeshare
Background to bike share in Norwich
Previous bike share provider, ofo, reported above average uptake of its service in Norwich but left the city last summer as part of an international downscaling of its operations, rather than any issues with the scheme locally.
Alternative web link for suggesting bay locations