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E-scooters hire scheme arrives in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:21 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:50 21 September 2020

Norwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl and Philip Ellis, Co-founder and CEO. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLME

Norwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl and Philip Ellis, Co-founder and CEO. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLME

Archant

First there were bikes, then there were e-bikes and now Beryl has brought electric scooters to Norwich.

Norwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLMENorwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLME

The new scheme, which has seen e-scooters arriving in the city, is part of an agreed 12-month trial with Norfolk County Council and the Department of Transport (DfT).

Working much in the same way as the bike and e-bike hiring process, the electric scooters will be able to hire via the Beryl mobile app.

However, unlike the Beryl bikes, those wishing to hire a Beryl e-scooter will be required to provide a valid UK Driving Licence.

While it is currently illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter on a public highway, the Beryl e-scooters will be able to be used on roads, cycle lanes, carriageways and other areas where cycling is permitted.

Norwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows one of the docks. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLMENorwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows one of the docks. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLME

Philip Ellis, the CEO of Beryl, said the scheme was initially launching with 20 e-scooters but would increase to 100 over the coming weeks.

He said the company had put in a number of measures to make sure the new scooters were as safe as possible, he said; “We’ve had a special order from the DFT which has allowed us to put these particular scooters on the road.

“We’ve implemented driving licence checks on the app and we’ve ensured all the riders and it’s only really through all that we’re able to offer these scooters to people.

“[The e-scooters] are designed to be used in the same way you would a bike, so you can ride them where you would a bike, so definitely no pavements, no dual carriageways and things like.

Norwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows Sabrina Johnson, EDP journalist, Philip Ellis, Co-founder and CEO and Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLMENorwich have been selected to trial the Beryl e-scooters. Picture shows Sabrina Johnson, EDP journalist, Philip Ellis, Co-founder and CEO and Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl. Picture: KATE WOLSTENHOLME

“Undoubtedly they’re are a new innovation and we would really encourage people to take extra caution when riding them and we’ll be monitoring them quite closely, hopefully that controlled approach means we can be as safe as possible.”

Mr Ellis said he was optimistic the trial would open e-scooter use up to everyone, he said: “Lots of different cities have introduced electric scooters over the last couple of years and you’ve seen an awful lot of usage, people really do take to them, they’re a lot of fun and obviously help people get around in a social distancing way and long term in a climate friendly way,” he said.


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