Bid for £250,000 could bring more e-bikes to Norfolk streets

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

A successful bid for government cash could bring more Beryl e-bikes to Norwich's streets. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The success of a scheme which allows people in Norwich to rent e-bikes could see it expanded to a wider area of the city.

And council leaders are hoping a bid for a quarter of a million pounds from the government will also allow electronic bikes to be loaned from shops in other parts of the county.

Norfolk County Council is submitting a bid to the Department for Transport to try to get £250,000 from its E-Cycle Extension Fund.

The Beryl bike rental scheme in Norwich launched in March last year, initially with just pedal cycles available to borrow.

But in July, it started offering a limited number of e-bikes for rental.

The county council hopes a successful bid for government cash will help provide extra e-bikes through the Beryl scheme and allow them to be used across a wider area of Greater Norwich.

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The council also wants to be able to promote more use of e-bikes in other parts of the county, including Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Cromer, Hunstanton and North Walsham.

The money would enable a scheme which allows e-bikes to be borrowed from shops for trials to be expanded into other towns, giving people the opportunity to try before they buy.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport.

Martin Wulby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. - Credit: Simon Parkin

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Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport at Norfolk County Council, said: “We’ve already seen through the success of the Beryl scheme in Norwich that E-bikes have the potential to encourage more people out of their cars and make cycling a viable option for those who would not otherwise travel using a conventional bicycle.

"I’m delighted we’ve been invited to bid for this funding which will enable us to stimulate further trial of e-bikes across the county.”

Councils which got money through the government's Access Fund or Cycle Ambition City funding have been invited to put forward proposals for enabling the increased use of e-cycles - and Norfolk has had money through both initiatives.

The council would also be keen to use the money to promote use of e-bikes on local cycle routes, such as the blue pedalway which connects Norwich to Wymondham.

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