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Beryl rider trends in Norwich unveiled in new report

Norfolk County Council, 13 December 2022 00:00

A major piece of Beryl rider research has unearthed a number of interesting new trends for Norwich, including greater integration with wider transport networks and a decline in private vehicle use.

The findings of the Beryl Annual Rider Report, obtained from 804 riders in Norwich during September 2022, have been unveiled today.

One of the standout findings from the Norwich data is a big increase in riders connecting their Beryl trips with public transport, with 52% this year compared to just 26% in 2021. The average distance of those journeys are less than 2.5km, showing the increasing importance of bikeshare as an option for the first and last mile journeys

Another key finding shows that practicality has overtaken pleasure, with convenience (34%) and speed (24%) now the two most important reasons for signing up to Beryl. Novelty/trying new things and fun were the two most important reasons in 2021, but have dropped by 17% (now 18%) and 8% (now 21%) respectively. Cost has almost doubled in importance from 11% in 2021 to 20% this year.

As usage for practical purposes grows, car usage decreases with 40% of all riders in Norwich having reduced their car usage since using Beryl - an increase from 25% last year.

Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis, said:

"As the UK's leading micro-mobility operator, we know from experience how important data and feedback is in understanding our users, identifying trends and ensuring that we're providing services that are accessible, and work for everyone.

"Our findings this year are reflective of external factors and show that, in line with rising cost of living, people are recognising the value of shared micro-mobility schemes as a more cost-effective, practical and convenient alternative to private vehicle ownership.

"We will continue to use insights like this to guide our data-driven approach, delivering schemes in consultation with communities and key stakeholders as part of an integrated transport network.

"By doing this we can continue to get more people swapping four wheels for two and help reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion while improving air quality and public health."

Councillor Lana Hempsall, Sustainable Transport Champion at Norfolk County Council said: "These findings are really interesting and timely. It demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction as we look to create more 'travel hubs' across Norfolk where people can easily switch from one sustainable mode to another.

"Being a rural County, our bus services are vital in connecting communities so the fact that the beryl bikes, e-bikes and scooters are helping people to use their local services more easily is a huge benefit to the County as a whole as we work together to work towards achieving our ambitious net-zero objectives. "

Other findings further demonstrate the increased user demand for practicality, with the number of people using Beryl to commute significantly increased from 31% last year to 51% this year. Other practical factors such as riding for business (+5%) have also increased while riding for leisure purposes has dropped from 75% to 62%.

Riders are also embracing variety and, compared to 2021, are much more likely to try multiple modes. The number of people riding bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters has almost doubled from 26% to 50%, while the number of riders just using bikes has fallen dramatically from 25% to just 7%.

Riders were also surveyed across other Beryl-operated schemes in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Hereford, Watford and the Isle of Wight, along with Greater Manchester.

The survey was sent to riders via email and within the Beryl app. Of those in Norwich who responded, 23% had signed up but not yet taken a ride, while 77% had taken at least one ride.

The survey allows us to understand riders' motivations, as well as their behaviour before, during and after riding our vehicles.

You can hire a Beryl Bike or an e-scooter through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users.

Beryl e-scooters can be used on roads, cycle lanes, carriageways and other areas where cycling is permitted but not on pavements. Every Beryl e-scooters has vehicle approval from the Department for Transport (DfT), ensuring it meets the highest safety standards. Beryl has and will continue to consult with key organisations as the trial progresses. E-scooter riders are required to provide a valid UK Driving Licence to participate.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

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