E-Bikes hit the streets in Norwich
27 July 2020
Enjoying Norwich by bike is set to become easier, more accessible and even more enjoyable for the public with the introduction of the Beryl e-Bike. This week, the British micromobility’s bike share scheme, brought to the city earlier this year by the Transport for Norwich Partnership, will introduce the first of their pedal assist bikes with an initial roll out of 25 Beryl e-Bikes. Riders in Norwich will be able to find and hire from today, with the number of bikes growing alongside the scheme throughout the year ahead.
Funded through the government’s Transforming Cities programme, the new Beryl e-Bikes are being launched to support journeys and commutes that could be taken by two wheels, but are often made by private or public motor vehicles. As Norwich returns to its usual pace, people are looking for greener and safer modes of transport that can service a wide range of journeys. The UK micromobility provider hopes its classic Beryl Bikes continue to best serve the majority of trips, with the Beryl e-Bikes carrying people on mid to long length journeys where pedal assisted power makes the trip more enjoyable and viable.
The launch of the Beryl e-Bike coincides with Beryl’s national #BetterByBike campaign which aims to build on the growing support for cycling in the UK and the positive behaviour changes many have made towards active travel. During the first #BetterByBike promotion in Norwich 400,000 minutes were gifted to riders to encourage more people to try cycling. During the campaign the scheme had it’s best riding days to date both in number of trips and number of riders.
Councillor Martin Wilby, Chair of the Transforming Cities Joint Committee and Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for Highways and Infrastructure said: “We are delighted with the popularity of the scheme so far and as we look to a greener and more sustainable future in terms of travel, the new e-bikes are a fantastic addition to our current offer which will further support our long term strategy to keep people healthy and reduce pollution across the city.”
Councillor Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council’s Cycling Champion added: “I have no doubt that e-bikes will open cycling up to a much broader audience. We will be looking to promote their use through both our AtoBetter and PushingAhead programmes and as cycling becomes the new norm, I would very much like to see such initiatives rolled out across the County.”
Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl Bikes said: “By introducing Beryl e-Bikes into our fleet, we have an opportunity to support a different type of rider by unlocking more rides that may not have been served with a standard pedal bike. Ultimately the Beryl e-Bikes make cycling more accessible where people may have previously been blocked by physical ability, length of journey or distance. The Beryl e-Bike plays a key role in our mission to lower the barriers to cycling, and replace more car journeys with active and sustainable travel options.“
The Beryl-eBike will be available to hire through two payment choices of Pay-As-You-Ride (£1.50 unlock fee + 10p per minute) or Minute Bundles (£1.50 unlock fee and bundles priced at 5 p per minute, starting at 100 minutes for £5).
Beryl e-Bikes can be hired 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 the same marked ‘Beryl Bays’ which are visible both in app and on street. Bays continue to be implemented to enable wider access and ease of use across the city.
The Beryl e-Bike can be differentiated from the Beryl Bikes through an electrified symbol that will be visible on the bike and bay icons in-app. The remaining range of the beryl e-Bike will also be displayed in-app ahead of hiring the bike so riders are able to confirm the battery will last throughout their journey.
Beryl’s e-Bikes have a centre mount pedal assist, ensuring a lower centre of gravity in the bike which provides a safer and more enjoyable riding experience. Electric power is provided through pedal assist, meaning the rider can adjust the speed of the bike through the power in their pedalling. The electric assist of the Beryl e-Bike is capped at a max speed of 15.5mph (24.9kmph) in accordance with UK law. The local Beryl operations team will manage all the onstreet maintenance and use a battery swapping process to ensure the e-bikes are charged and ready for use.
Those using Beryl Bikes are encouraged to wash their hands immediately before and after use, stay two metres away from others whilst cycling and not to ride in groups.
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 bike share bicycles of London and New York and the co-designing of the new Santander Cycles for London. In Spring 2018, Blaze was 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 has now expanded to multiple city-wide schemes. Beryl is also accredited as a B-Corp and by CoMoUK, which is the agreed standard of Best Practice for the industry.
Beryl now operates leading bike share schemes in Bournemouth and Poole, Hereford, Hackney, Watford and the City of London. They will shortly be launching on Staten Island in New York.
For more information, please visit beryl.cc/bikeshare