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Beryl Bike rental free of charge for next month - but only for the morning rush

PUBLISHED: 11:56 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:56 14 September 2020

Reporter Sabrina Johnson trials one of the new electric Beryl bikes in the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Reporter Sabrina Johnson trials one of the new electric Beryl bikes in the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A bike-sharing scheme in the city has been made free of charge for the morning rush in a bid to ease pressure on public transport.

Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of Norwich's  Beryl bikes Picture: Lauren De Boise.Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of Norwich's Beryl bikes Picture: Lauren De Boise.

The Beryl Bikes scheme launched in Norwich in March, allowing people to borrow a bicycle on a pay-as-you-ride basis, with both regular and electric bikes on offer.

And as part of an initiative geared at relieving strain on buses and other forms of public transport, it has been revealed that for the next month commuters will be able to take advantage of free rentals in the city.

Beryl and Norfolk County Council has announced that until October 16th, people borrowing pedal bikes between 7.30am and 9.30am on a week day will get their first 30 minutes free, while e-bikes will be free for the first 15 minutes of their journey.

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It is hoped that by placing focus on peak hours, commuters will be encouraged to plan the rentals into their daily journeys and take up cycling as a habit.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “Active travel already forms a key component of our overall transport strategy and supports our goals to improve both the environment and people’s health but as more people have a genuine need to travel at peak times, when buses are operating at reduced capacity, this puts enormous strain on the key services people rely on to get around.

“The need to encourage travel by sustainable means has never been greater and we hope that offering this incentive will free up vital seats for those who are unable to walk or cycle.”

Beryl chief executive Philip Ellis added, “Norwich is like many cities across the UK that saw an exponential rise in cycling during lockdown, and now that number is starting to dip.

“We want to do everything we can to make cycling more accessible to everyone across the city and also ensure those who have to take public transport can do so in a safe manner.”

The initial month has been designed as a trial period, which could see the offer extended if it proves successful.


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