To the moon! Norwich Beryl users cover 370,000km in first year

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

Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of the Beryl bikes. Picture: Lauren De Boise. - Credit: Archant

Users of the city's bikeshare scheme cycled the equivalent of the distance between the Earth and the moon in the project's first year, its operator has revealed.

Beryl is celebrating a year of operating in Norwich since its launch last March.

In that time, its fleet of more than 400 bikes, e-bikes and scooters across the city have been used for 97,000 separate journeys, covering more than 370,000 kilometres in total.

Beryl said journey data shows its expansion from regular bicycles to include e-bikes and e-scooters has been pivotal in shifting transport habits to more sustainable models.

Chief executive Phillip Ellis said: "Cycling has experienced an exponential boom across the world in the last year, and it’s fantastic to see Norwich’s enthusiasm for going by bike climb rapidly since our launch in the city.


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"The multi-modal approach we have brought to our scheme in the city appears to have helped drive down car usage with a recent user survey showing 20pc of respondents acknowledged they use their private cars less often."

Beryl bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters in Norwich were used 97,000 times during the scheme's first year in the city.

Beryl bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters in Norwich were used 97,000 times during the scheme's first year in the city. - Credit: Beryl

In addition to the benefits of exercise to physical and mental health, Beryl said its scheme is helping Norwich to become a greener city.

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The 97,000 trips taken in the first year has saved the equivalent to more than 61,000kg of CO2 saved, the operator said.

Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport Martin Wilby hinted the Beryl scheme could be expanded further in 2021.

He said: "I am delighted to see the impact the arrival of Beryl in Norwich is having on both people’s travel habits and the environment.

"These changes are key drivers of our Transforming Cities programme which funded the scheme’s introduction and we look forward to working with Beryl to further expand the service in the coming year."

The council's walking and cycling champion Andrew Jamieson added: "Encouraging more people to walk or cycle supports our goals as a council to reduce carbon emissions and improve the health of our residents and we will continue to promote greener travel options across the whole county."

Bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters can be found at 80 bays around the city, and are used via the Beryl app.

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